The way a person uses social media networks can either help or hinder a job search. On the one hand, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are great avenues for finding out about or even landing a job. Those same networks can, however, work against a person if a potential employer watches that same person’s social media activities and sees sketchy conduct.
How social media is useful for the job search
The positive side of social media is its usefulness in getting that dream job. For example, a Twitter user can search the popular platform to find openings in her or her field of expertise. Searches of the hashtags #job, the particular area of expertise and the local area, such as Vancouver, can prove useful.
In addition, a person can seek out institutions and people that are related to the career field of choice to make new connections that potentially lead to a job down the road. That method can be done on Twitter, for example. Try to follow recognized leaders in the career of choice. Strike up conversations with them on the platform or simply watch how they interact with followers to pick up tips to apply in the future.
On the network Linkedin, a user can follow a business of interest to learn more about market trends and where related upcoming jobs are. There is also a range of job openings on LinkedIn that users are notified of on a regular basis. These jobs are ones advertised on the platform and that the network deems to be related to that particular user’s profile details, recent activities and area of residence.
Watch out: Social media activities can damage a job hunt
A user’s social media activities, however, can also hinder that person’s chances of getting a job. This notion is true as more and more employers research a potential job candidate online to find out details about them that go beyond the submitted resume. This search may lead that person to an online profile that is less than flattering. Facebook is a prime example.
If a user shares posts publicly on Facebook, the content can be seen at any time by anyone if they find that person’s profile at the platform. Content that is in poor taste, such as containing raunchy images or crude words, can reflect badly on the user. It can also turn off a potential employer and cost that person the job. After all, an employee is a representative of the company and therefore needs to act professionally both online and off. Sharing the content privately among friends or limiting posts to mild content is likely advisable.
In addition, social media can hinder a job search because it takes up can take up a lot of time in the day. While a person may intend to use the computer to search to jobs, his or her focus may get detracted to what is happening on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+. As a result, less time is actually spent searching for that new dream job, while more time is spent pinning pretty images or browsing the Google+ stream for new articles to read.
There are both pros and cons of social media usage to get a new job. While the online platforms can be a quality resource for finding that dream position, it is also important to keep activities on the networks professional as many employers use them to research candidates. Job-seekers need to keep in mind the above-mentioned points when frequenting the popular networks.