How can you use social media to promote yourself as a good candidate to potential employers?

2.46 billion people around the world used social media in 2017 – and that figure is set to rise to 2.77 billion next year. We increasingly use social media for everything, from dating to writing restaurant reviews and its use has transitioned purely from a source of entertainment and gossip to the professional world too. When it comes to job applications, social media has a dual purpose: it acts as a way for employers to find out more about candidates and it offers an additional channel through which to get hired.

Hiring via social media

Although this is still relatively rare in many industries, some 44% of employers surveyed say that they have hired someone via social media. This puts an entirely new spin on the usefulness of social media if you’re looking for a potential new job. Should you be posting videos of dogs surfing or spending more time tweeting and posting about your professional interests and creative achievements? If you’re looking to get hired via social media then there are some key things to consider:

  1. Make sure your profile has a link to a CV hosting site or platform like LinkedIn where potential employers can see all your skills and qualifications
  2. Use the keywords of your industry in your profile so you can get found
  3. Choose your language carefully (no swearing)
  4. Use your posts to talk about your role, your skills, what challenges you’ve overcome, as well as your strengths
  5. Don’t share any confidential information
  6. Use an appealing photo – it doesn’t have to be a professional photo but images of drunken nights out and skimpy outfits should be avoided

Social media as part of the jobs process

More commonly, employers will use the access that they have to social media to find out more about a potential candidate. In fact, 93% admit to having used social platforms to get more information than just where you’ve worked and what qualifications you have. Increasingly, social media is being used as a barometer of who you are as a person and what you might contribute as an individual. So, what exactly are they looking for?

Are you a good fit, culturally? Just over half of employers use social platforms like Instragram and Facebook to find out who you are and whether you’d fit in with their business. Your social profiles could show an entirely different set of interests, principles and attitudes to those you’ve indicated on your CV.

Do you know how to behave online? 42% of employers have been put off a candidate by what they’ve found online. Illegal drug use references, sexually charged posts, swearing and references to excessive alcohol consumption are all turn-offs for employers.

Is your CV truthful? Employers will be looking to see if information on university, employers and experience matches up.

What kind of person are you? Specifically, employers will be looking at what you’re posting about and how you’re responding to others, whether you’re argumentative and inarticulate, or interesting, intelligent and able to hold your own without getting angry.

Can you spell? Yes, even on social media you’re expected to maintain standards of spelling and grammar if you want to impress a potential employer.

Are you creative? 44% of hiring managers want to see if you’re creative i.e. how are you using your social media profiles, how social savvy you are and whether you stand out online.

If you have social profiles then, whether or not you list these on your CV, employers will still be looking at them, so it’s important to make sure that if you’re putting yourself forward for opportunities, that your social profiles portray you in a positive light.

If you’re looking for a new job or you are interested in working within a particular sector, simply get in touch with 2i Recruit today to register as a candidate.