Using social media to look for jobs: The ground rules

By Derek Walters, Talent Director at Three Whiskey on

Social media has become a valuable, but often underestimated, tool for jobseekers.

Studies have also shown that 92% of companies are using social media for hiring and that three out of four hiring managers will search for a candidate’s social profiles. A survey  of recruiters and hiring managers conducted by LiveCareer also showed that as many as 68% of recruiters said job seekers need a LinkedIn profile in 2021.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, the majority of job-hunters will benefit from having a good social media presence when it comes to finding their perfect job. This doesn’t mean you need to photograph yourself going to conferences every weekend or upload Tony Robbins quotes on the daily. Usually, all you need is a few, simple tweaks.

Here are some ground rules from Three Whiskey‘s Recruitment Director, Derek Walters, to get you on the right track:

Man using social media to look for jobs

Google yourself 

You should always assume that a potential employer is going to do some background research on you before inviting you to an interview, so make sure they don’t unearth anything that doesn’t fit with the professional image you want to convey.

Remove any embarrassing photos and posts or tweak your privacy settings, but make sure you keep some information public. For example, your professional skills or employment history. You’ll still want hiring managers to find you!

Keep it simple

Don’t try to spread yourself across too many social media platforms as this will only make it difficult for you to keep them up all to date. Instead, focus on one or two, with LinkedIn being your primary one (link).

Make sure the information on these profiles match with the information on your CV to avoid confusion. Especially on LinkedIn. Specify your preferred location and position and your profile will naturally come up when recruiters are looking for candidates.

Use social media for research

Social media isn’t just a way for recruiters and employers to learn more about you. Use it to do some research into the organisations you’re interested in – their values and culture. This knowledge can strengthen your job search and give you some valuable intel for the interview stage.

Social media is an easy way to ‘put yourself out there’, and ‘putting yourself out there’ might give you that extra advantage over a candidate who doesn’t.

Become a thought leader

If you’re interested in entering a specific industry, you can use social media to show yourself as an expert in that field. Or, at the very least, someone with enthusiasm.

Get involved in relevant conversations and contribute to industry-specific groups. These spaces can help you to connect with the right people and develop, professionally. You’ll begin to build a personal brand that will become very useful when it comes to positioning yourself for work.

Get chatty

Social media is a natural medium for network-building. LinkedIn, especially, is designed for this and, as long as you stick to a code of conduct, is the perfect place to make connections.

If you’re reaching out cold to someone who you’d like to join your network, remember to personalise the request and give some context. You’ll be much more likely to receive a response from them. This approach is also a useful way to learn about company culture at other firms.

In today’s competitive job search environment, social media can give you an edge over the competition by showcasing your unique personality alongside your appropriateness for a particular role. 

Use it wisely and it can be a powerful way to positively impact your job search.

Three Whiskey are members of the CMA. Find out more about their work on their member page.

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