Social media can be your friend or your foe in your job search, depending on how you use it. While you’ve likely be using social media for, well, social reasons, it has the power and reach to greatly expand your job search, if used appropriately.
1. Update profiles regularly:
Make a point of keeping your profiles up to date. Especially on the social media channels that you actively use for job hunting.
Ensure that your online profiles correspond with your CV. For example, the dates of any previous employment should be aligned with those listed on your CV, and your qualifications should be accurate. Always be honest about your current employment status, even if you are unemployed, as often recruiters will be looking for candidates that are available immediately.
2. Keep your connections career-focused:
Getting requests to connect from old roommates and people you barely remember from high school is only to be expected on social media, but you want to make sure the majority of the people in your circles are in your career cohort. This gives employers the impression that you’re plugged in to your particular niche, and is especially helpful when applying for a job that lists strong industry contacts as a core requirement.
3. Understand what content to share and not to share:
Even if your profile is private to the general public, it can still be seen by all your friends (unless you have set up advanced privacy settings). This probably goes without saying, but don’t post information about patients or pictures/videos of patients. Even if only your friends can see your posts, remember to keep it professional at all times. You never know who on your friends list could help you, or prevent you from getting a job, so keep a clean virtual appearance.
Think of social media content like a first date. Don’t share your thoughts on politics, avoid sharing your religious views, and don’t talk down about your last or current employer. Keep your content classy. And remember, even if you delete a post, it’s the Internet—it will be out there forever.
4. Engage with companies:
Posting on LinkedIn every week may seem odd at first. However, your engagement shouldn’t solely be personal posts. Instead focus on engaging with companies; share articles, like posts, and comment on topics that interested you. This allows for authentic and organic networking with people who share a similar field.
5. Share snippets of information:
As with any other social networking site, LinkedIn also requires engagement. You do not merely set up your profile and never check in. Posting interesting facts about your industry or having discussions on topics centered on the industry.
Being comfortable with social media can help enhance your portfolio. With so many companies relying on social media to post jobs and screen candidates, having a strong self-brand will allow you to stand out. You don’t need to be an expert. Focus on being professional, honest, and consistent in order to bring your job search to the next level.