You have undoubtedly read a thousand articles telling you exactly what NOT to do with your social media accounts when looking for a job. They basically all say that you should try and hide as much as you possibly can so that when your prospective employer comes along there is nothing that will prevent you getting that job you want. There are so many pitfalls that you’ve probably ended up hovering over that ‘Delete Account’ button on more than one occasion, it’s just not worth the hassle right?
Before you hit that button, let me see suggest something a little bit different…
Employers are looking at your profiles more than ever before. When you apply for any job, take it as a given that someone will likely try and find you on at least one social media platform, if not multiple. So what impression do you want to give?
Most articles of this sort will tell you to hide everything, put your privacy settings as high as they can go and do what you can to make yourself hard to find. But why should this have to be the case?
What if your social media profiles could be a huge asset to you in your job search, setting you up as the ideal candidate? If your desired industry is one that contains active commentators then it’s your social media accounts that show that you are paying attention. As well as a plethora of funny videos of cats dressed as famous leaders throughout history, the various social media channels are where serious conversations are taking place, significant statements are being made and essentially the future of your industry is being discussed. Doesn’t this sound like something that you should be involved in? Whilst you’re at it, wouldn’t it be nice if your future employer could see that that’s the case?
Take the time to find relevant content to your desired industry, comment on posts that interest you and re-post, share and re-tweet. Doing so demonstrates an active interest in your industry, shows that you are listening to what is being said and are passionate enough to share it.
Imagine you are an employer and are researching two potential candidates, the first candidate has set all of their Facebook privacy settings up and you can’t find them on Twitter. Their LinkedIn profile tells you exactly what their application did. All in all, nothing negative has come out of it but nothing of particular merit either.
The 2nd candidate has a Twitter account on which they have in the last week retweeted certain articles you’ve been reading, have been in conversations with certain influential people in the industry and make some interesting points about current hot topics.
Which of these candidates are going to be ahead in your estimations?
Demonstrating genuine passion and interest in the industry and the inner goings on will always work in your favour and this is a great way of doing so.
This approach isn’t just advantageous at application stage, employers use a range of methods to target prospective candidates and a number of these utilise social media activity to ‘qualify’ candidates as suitable.
Taking the time to ensure that you are following influential accounts and individuals within your desired field will lead to relevant vacancies becoming more visible to you on social media.
Sophisticated online search methods are becoming increasingly prevalent in recruitment as suitable candidates are actively sought out. Demonstrating an active interest in current issues, hot topics and influential individuals will make you incredibly desirable for top employers who are looking for the best candidates.
So let’s stop with trying to hide who we are and start looking at social media accounts with more positivity. If done right, it will provide employers with a real insight into your personality and passion for the industry. Becoming friends with your social media accounts can put you ahead of the pack rather than take you out of the race.