With our ever-expanding digital world, it’s no surprise that we rely on the internet to hunt for potential jobs.  Social media has become so intrinsic to our lives that it’s almost abnormal if someone doesn’t have an account on at least one social media platform.

Luckily for us, social media can also be used as our very own online resume!  Here are some tips on how to use it to your advantage.

Building your personal brand

Whether we like it or not, having an account on Facebook or Twitter automatically creates a personal ‘brand’.  Employers can learn a lot about a person just by looking them up online.
You’ve heard the horror stories: employees losing their jobs over controversial photos or offensive statuses.  Let’s avoid being one of those people!

To correctly use your personal brand, create strong, positive profiles across all platforms.  You can give employers an insight into your personality and interests by adding a YouTube account or a blog.

According to a national survey, an employer from CareerBuilder found that more than 57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find them online.

So, log on social media, but make sure your Facebook and Twitter are clean from anything that could appear unprofessional. Do post that inspirational TED talk you love but don’t post anything bitter about a professor or a potential employer.

Join LinkedIn

It’s no surprise that this makes the cut. Networking is not just meeting people face-to-face anymore but rather through a tap or a click.  LinkedIn is the go-to platform for job hunters and potential employers, boasting a whopping 200 million members.

According to an infographic by Career Glider, 79% of recruiters hire through LinkedIn. Additionally, more than 90% search for, contact and screen candidates based on their profiles on the site.

Set up a profile and make an effort to enrich all the content so that you stand out. Begin following companies that pique your interest and ‘connect’ with them.  Collect any recommendations from clients and colleagues and add context to all qualifications and experiences you list.

Nik Hewitt, head of social media at Tank PR emphasizes the importance of maintaining your platforms: ‘Would you recruit someone with an incomplete LinkedIn profile and no picture?  What does it say about someone and the way they might organize their professional life?’

Simply ensuring all your accounts have as much relevant information as possible takes you a step closer to attaining your dream job.

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Take to Twitter

Not just a way to follow your favorite celebs, Twitter can be used as an effective tool in landing a job. Recruiters go out of their way to check out your online presence and tweets allow them to see you in a more organic way.

Tweet your witty quips about daily life and share articles that interest you: it all gives employers a taste of your personality.  Twitter really lets you engage with your community, so keep on retweeting any awesome projects going on that inspire you.

Using Twitter reinforces your knowledge and interest in a specific area, further developing your own voice.  As Chris Heinz, vice president at Westport One, told Business News Daily, ‘Being active on social media is a critical part of promoting your personal brand [and] industry expertise, and ultimately establishes you as a thought leader in your market sector.’

You can also use Twitter to follow company accounts so that you’re on top of available jobs and whether they have any upcoming events.  One last tip: think about adding key words to your bio as recruiters use these as search tools on social media.

Familiarize yourself with Facebook

Yes, even Facebook can be used in the job hunt!  Firstly, it’s important that your profile is friendly and makes a good impression.  Untag anything that may come back to haunt you. Make sure all posts are professional – it doesn’t hurt to post personal statuses, but make sure the content and style aren’t inappropriate.

Facebook is primarily used by companies to research their employees.  You can also use the social platform to research companies and the people who work on them – even the person interviewing you!  It will showcase what the company have got involved with in the past and may help quell those pre-interview jitters.

Have you heard of the Facebook marketplace?  Like Gumtree and Craiglist, you can have a peruse at the online marketplace for job listings.  You’ll be able to see the description and also who posted the job.  You can either apply or contact the person behind the position for more information.

So there you have it.  Social media is not just a way to procrastinate but as a way to boost your chances at landing your dream job.  So, get to managing all your platforms! Make sure that they are professional, packed full of relevant information and all linked to each other. Your success at job hunting may depend on it.

Francesca Hooper writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available.

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