When it comes to finding a job after graduation, living in such a digital world means you need to maintain a strong social media presence. Most people don’t realize when editing their next Instagram post that there’s more to it than just trying to get those likes, comments and follows. Having professional and up-to-date social media platforms can actually increase your likelihood of getting hired.
Don’t worry, here’s how to get your social media job-ready in no time!
1. Know the pros of social media
First, let’s start off with using social media to get that dream job. Just finding suitable job opportunities takes up a huge chunk of the job process. Today, 92% of companies are using social media for hiring, with LinkedIn coming in at the top.
“LinkedIn is the most under-appreciated career-building resource out there among college students,” said Penn State communications professor Anne Hoag.
When it comes to social media, 73% of people are being hired successfully with social media recruitment.
2. Know the cons
On the other hand, social media can also harm your chances of getting hired at that dream company if you’re not careful with what you post. It’s super important to remember that once you post something on social media, it’s out there forever and for just about anyone to see. Regardless of whether or not you have your account set to private, what you post can easily be accessed by anyone. Three out of four hiring managers actually will check a candidate’s social media platforms.
3. Press “Delete”
Remember those “Finsta” accounts that everyone seemed to be making in high school? If you’re not familiar, it was pretty much an account on Instagram where people would post pictures that they normally wouldn’t on their main Instagram accounts. These posts could include things like partying or curse words that you probably wouldn’t want a potential recruiter to see.
“I was looking through my Finsta, and I deleted more than half of my posts there,” said Penn State junior Reilly Burton. “I honestly thought about just deleting that whole account.”
Maybe now is a good time to do some early spring cleaning on your social media accounts! One big thing you might want to be mindful of when it comes to posting on social media is any illegal substances. This can even include alcohol.
“When I was an employer, social media was not around. However, if I were an employer today, I would Google prospective hires and search for them on social media. I would look for evidence of their skills, talents and experiences,” said Hoag. “If I found evidence a job applicant smokes, expresses intolerant points of view, or is excessively sloppy with writing mechanics, I would dump their applications in the trash.”
Remember! What you post online stays there forever. These things can potentially ruin your chances of getting that job you’ve always wanted.
“I honestly did not openly post any pictures with alcohol in them to my Instagram until I turned 21,” said Penn State junior Samantha Andrews.
Just double-check before pressing post next time!
4. Be Consistent!
Another thing that can help you get your social media job-ready is maintaining a consistent and up-to-date presence. You want to make sure you’re not letting your accounts collect too much dust! Delete any old accounts that do not reflect who you are right now. Think of your ultimate end goal and come up with what you want your personal brand to be. This just means who you want to be in life and what your ultimate goal is. For example, if you want your brand to represent working for a lifestyle magazine in NYC, build towards that goal one post at a time. Follow and reach out to people who live in New York City or post your own writings on social media.
Trying to stay active on major platforms like Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn is also important. This can simply mean writing a quick update on your life to Facebook or congratulating someone on LinkedIn. Writing little updates about your life can make you seem more personable and can even be a good conversation starter. For example, you can post a picture of a new recipe you tried out or snap an adorable picture of your puppy. Interacting with others can also be extremely easy. Simply leaving a comment on someone else’s post can lead to a potential relationship.
Try to connect with anyone on LinkedIn relevant to the field of work you hope to get into after graduation. For example, if you want to work as a journalist, maybe try connecting with alumni who graduated from your college and are now working as journalists.
“Expand your network by joining industry and interest groups (including your alma mater groups),” said Hoag. “You can also expand your network by following and posting with hashtags.”
You can also simply post an update about an internship you scored! Connecting with people and building your network can really set you apart from other candidates.
5. Make a Good First Impression
Finally, for more professional accounts like LinkedIn, have a good header and profile picture. This just means having a clean and professional looking profile picture. You can even hire a professional photographer to guarantee a perfect-looking picture. However, you can also easily even turn this into a photoshoot with friends. Find a clear background and snap some professional pictures for a fun night in! A good header on LinkedIn can just be a quick summary of who you are, what skills you have and what you are looking for. Other quick facts that can highlight your talents can include any previous internships you’ve had, any awards or any academic achievements.