All About Utilising Social Media While Job Searching

All About Utilising Social Media While Job Searching

When you know that potential employers will be Googling your name, do you carefully edit your social media presence to sound professional or do you let the tweets fly without a care? Moreover, how can you utilise social media to your advantage when searching for a job?

Image adapted from Ra2Studio (Shutterstock)

Here to help answer those questions is Cristin Sturchio, Global Head of Talent at Cognolink, a research firm hiring millennials and cultivating employee engagement. Cristin knows what companies look regarding how you present yourself online — as well as red flags that might have recruiters tossing your resume aside.

How much detail is too much detail when explaining past job experiences on my LinkedIn page?

A key principle of marketing is to generate interest without giving away the whole story. Your resume and your LinkedIn profile are advertisements and their purpose is to pique someone’s interest enough to get you a first interview. During the interview, you can tell the full story. Caveat here: whether it’s your resume or your LinkedIn profile, remember to include bullets with results — results generate interest. I think 3 or 4 bullets on LinkedIn for each experience/internship/job is probably enough.

How do I use Twitter to search for jobs? Is there a specific hashtag, or set of hashtags, or accounts to follow?

Aha – the never-ending quest for hashtags! It’s a good idea to do some basic research first. Make a list of top ten industries/companies/positions you are interested in — then go and find hashtags associated with them. For example, our handle, @cognograds, takes you to our Twitter page and there we use a variety of hashtags to attract people looking for jobs, #hiring, #gradjobs.

My question is in regards to social media posts from companies who use a social media account to look for potential employees. How should one respond to these to stand out from the crowd? Also, even if they don’t send these out, if it’s a good idea, how should we reach out to these social media accounts?

In responding to social media you are automatically following the company and it is a great way to get information about what’s going on in the company — and that is information you can use in a cover letter when applying, an interview, or a thank you letter and this will make you stand out from the crowd. With regard to reaching out — of course! If you are interested in a company, follow them and see where it goes.

Would it be a mistake to introduce myself/send a request to an HR manager on social media after I apply for a job?

I wouldn’t say it’s a mistake, any connection cannot hurt. What I will say is don’t take it personally or as a sign of your candidacy if you do not receive a response. It might be better to connect on social media after an interview.

When it comes to making yourself look appealing to potential employers online, how paranoid should people be about the long trail of posts they’ve already made online? For example, I’ve been on Twitter for almost seven years so I’ve surely said a lot of dumb things!

When you’re looking for a job, confidence is a good thing and besides you can’t take back what’s out there. I’m more interested in what you’re doing now, not what you did seven years ago.

How can I make my LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd?

Good question. We use LinkedIn to get beyond the resume. A few examples you may want to consider are: ask some colleagues to provide you with recommendations, join a couple of professional LinkedIn groups where you can network, and follow companies you are interested in.

Do you care about “endorsements” on Linkedin? I see people endorse that I have a skill — which is nice of them, I suppose — but does it matter?

I think endorsements are nice to have and it gives busy colleagues a quick way to give you a “shout-out”; let’s put it this way — I wouldn’t turn one down. Having said that, endorsements provide more detailed information. When I read an endorsement from someone’s colleague, I know they made the extra effort to think it through and be specific about why this person’s experience shines.

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