Making social media work for you in your job search

Karen Young Hays

Karen Young, Director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, gives 5 ways to make social media work for you when looking for a new job.

More and more employers are looking to social media to give them background information on job seekers. It’s estimated now that 90% of hiring professionals have viewed social networking profiles as part of their screening process, but social media is still an underused tool by many jobseekers. Here are some simple ways to make the most of social media in your job search and career.

 

Think before you tweet

You should always use social media responsibly and avoid sharing anything that you don’t want to be seen by a current or future employer. Run a social media audit of your own online presence before you embark on a job search. Spring clean your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and check your privacy settings to ensure anything you want to remain private is.

 

Professional vs personal

Think about who you connect with, the content you share and where you share it. Decide whether you want to interact with colleagues on Facebook or you want to remain purely professional on LinkedIn and adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Always remember to check your employer’s social media policy before setting up any profiles mentioning your employer.

 

Sell your skills and experience

While you should always tailor your CV to individual roles, your LinkedIn profile needs to have broader appeal. Emphasise your transferable skills and experience and give examples. Think about the key words employers or recruiters will look for, and don’t use clichéd buzzwords or jargon. Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar and keep your offline and online profile up-to-date as you make your career moves.

 

Grow your network

Once your profile is established you can now start to use these channels to develop your knowledge and grow your network. Joining groups run by the accountancy institutes is a good place to start. You should also follow employers you are interested in, recruiters you have worked with, and business and economic news channels. Once you’ve developed a network you can start sharing interesting news and articles and contribute to group discussions, helping you extend your network and grow your industry profile.

 

Do your homework

As well as helping you stand out to new employers and recruiters when looking for jobs, social media is also a great research tool when preparing for interviews. Most organisations will share their latest news and announcements through their social media channels, so show your enthusiasm for the role by keeping up-to-date.

 

If you’re not making use of professional social media as part of your career management you could be missing out on the chance to make new contacts, find new job opportunities and improve your professional reputation.

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