Social media has a prominent presence in our lives, and for those who utilize it, social media can help with job searching. Social media platforms help build a brand image of ourselves for viewers and hiring managers to understand who we are and what we do. Market specialist Paige Jones works at Career Services on campus and advises students about social media use and job searching.
“Students should realize the importance of how their personal social media plays into the job search process. Some sites like time.com researched and found that 93 percent of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social media before making a decision, and 55 percent of them have actually reconsidered a candidate based on what they find on their social media. The main thing is to just keep your social media as clean as possible, and to remember that once it’s on the internet, it’s permanent (even for Snapchat),” Jones said.
Here are some general tips on how to use social media for job searching:
Make sure your profile is clean.
It is important to keep your public profile clean and professional for potential employers to look at. This includes profanities and party pictures as well as articles or rants that could be offensive.
Use your real name.
Being active on social media doesn’t require you to open an account on every platform but remaining consistent and up to date on one or a few. Using your real name will help employers find your profiles quicker.
Define your personal brand.
Your “brand” is how you define yourself to viewers. It lets people know who you are, your likes and dislikes and where you are going with your life. Having a consistent brand across each social media platform will help your brand become more recognizable.
Morgan Lawrence is a junior public relations major and uses social media to promote her business Created 2 Create Co. Lawrence takes jackets and makes them new with messages and art. All the money she raises through her business supports non-profits and ministries.
“Social media has given me an entirely new platform and audience than where I started. It was people just noticing me in person and other people wearing my jackets, but because of social media, my audience is now nationwide,” Lawrence said. “That wouldn’t be possible without being on social media. It also allows me to create this brand presence without someone seeing my brand in person. From filters and hashtags to words and fabric, my brand has a specific sense, and that’s because of social media.”
Use social media as links to your personal projects.
If you have a website or blog, include those links in your social media accounts. This will help showcase your skills to potential employers. Have a place on your website that contains quick clicks to your social media. This helps employers search easier.
Don’t be afraid to include your handle on resumes.
If you have put work into projects, get them out into the open. Allow people to see what you can do. Including your social media handles on your resume will show companies you are networking with other people. Include what your specific brand is in your cover letter and hand out business cards to people. “Students can use social media for job searching as a way to network. The most preferred network for job searching is of course LinkedIn. This is a site where students can receive endorsements on skills from peers, build their network and search for jobs,” Jones said.
Career Services on campus is a great place to start for those who are unfamiliar with branding and social media. “Our office can help students find out their interests and find the best path for their future career goals. In this process, we can work with students on their personal branding, and that will be what students should use to help brand themselves on social media as well,” Jones explained.
The university uses Handshake as a platform for students to connect and find jobs. Students can schedule an appointment with a staff member to help with resumes and cover letters, job interviews and career exploration.
There are multiple social media platforms to use, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Explore the options and find one that best suits your brand and network connections.
photo courtesy Houston Defender