How to Prepare Your Social Media for Your Job Hunt
As applying for work even on social media is now possible, there’s plenty of reason to make sure your account/s are ready and are made to look more ‘professional’.
It is widely documented how some hiring managers and recruiters go the extra mile when evaluating job candidates, going as far as taking a look at applicants’ public social media profiles to make sure they are what the company would consider as suited for the job. This sometimes continues even after job seekers are hired, with some companies periodically monitor employees’ online activity to ensure the latter are not misrepresenting the former in any way.
Between the applicants who don’t get hired because they post numerous rants regarding their clients at their previous jobs, to well-known celebrities losing potential endorsement deals because they publicized some of their misguided political views, the consequences of posting everything haphazardly online is indeed significant, and is reason enough to always make sure your profile is set in a way that it never puts you in a bad light.
Employers Can Look, While You Can Apply
With regard to work, social media is now as much as a two-way street like it is with everything else. Just as employers can use it to learn more about employers, you can, now more than ever, also use it to find and directly apply for new career opportunities.
In the recent past, finding work on social media mostly meant LinkedIn, but now you can also officially apply on Facebook. Undoubtedly the most popular social media platform in the Philippines, Facebook has approximately 65 million businesses utilizing its pages to promote their brands and their products or services. Apart from reaching out to engage their respective target markets however, companies are now able to use it to find and hire qualified talent via Jobs on Facebook.
For its part, Kalibrr became the first in Southeast Asia to partner with the social media giant, and integrate its job listings on Jobs on Facebook like it already does with LinkedIn. This has enabled employers to easily create job posts on Kalibrr and have it automatically published on Facebook.
So as much as you should make sure that your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts are not something of a Pandora’s Box with content that will drive away recruiters, you may also want to take it a step further by making sure your information and content is curated well enough that your profile/s can function like a résumé.
Start With Your Profile and Cover Photos
While there are privacy settings which allow you to limit what managers/employers and other users get to see on your public social media profiles, an aspect of it that can be seen are your profile and cover photos.
A study made by Ghent University in Belgium determined that not only do employers look applicants up on social media, but that their decision about whether or not to interview the person can be directly influenced by their profile picture. For the study, academics at the university replied with fake applications to actual job ads, and created social media accounts for their fictitious applicants that only had their profile pictures publicly visible.
In a nutshell, they found that a photo where one appears personable and with a pleasant background is indeed more appealing to recruiters, as opposed to a photo where one looks closed off and is not smiling and may have his or her arms closed.
“The candidate with the most favorable profile picture received approximately 21-percent more positive responses to his application in comparison to the candidate with the least favorable profile picture,” said Professor Stijn Baert of Ghent University. “The difference in the chance to be immediately invited to a job interview even amounted to almost 40-percent.”
So like you would with your résumé, make sure you look your best on the profile and cover photos you use. While you don’t need to use a headshot like in an actual job application, make sure that your photo at least has you come across as someone that is easy to approach, or in this case work with. Make sure you’re smiling and projecting positive body language, and maybe keep photos where you’re dressed provocatively or partying like there’s no tomorrow for your private photo albums.
For your cover photo, it is advisable to select one that you would be happy to talk about during an interview. Opt to feature a recent trip, a favorite activity, or a photo that shows something you are interested in.
Keep it Positive and Professional
As mentioned, employers have limited information when they receive applications, and CVs or resumes are often not enough to gain insight on candidates prior to the first interview. At the same time, there's a lot of information online to at least refine a first impression, and since social media is an industry in itself that is as good as a way of life for many in the Philippines, it can be expected that many recruiters log-in to take an additional look.
It is therefore important to always remember, like with anything shared online, what you share on social media can either work for or against you. Like with your profile and cover photos, it is best to avoid sharing provocative or inappropriate images, as well as using profanity in your posts. Also skip the urge to talk negatively about your current or past employer/s, even if they deserve it. The most thorough recruiters will dig as far as they can, and anything negative that you posted can be to your disadvantage now or later on.
Make Sure Your Profile is Complete
Since it is the internet, many of the same “rules” that apply to your job searching profile/s more or less also applies to your social media profiles. If you want employers to easily find you and get a better idea of what your experiences when viewing you on social media, then you should make sure your profiles are complete and includes your past work history and professional skills.
Take note of what aspects of your profile you want to keep private and which ones need to be added or enhanced. It is also a good idea to review how your public profile looks like to parties whom you are not connected to, and be mindful of what information and content you want or don’t want them to see.
Connect and Engage
It isn’t enough to lurk on social media. It is after all, “social”, hence you should also leverage the platforms to nurture and expand your connections.
It is already easy to search for college classmates who are existing users on Facebook, so be sure you’ve also added your own college and even high school information for employers to know what schools you attended, and for former schoolmates who are potential colleagues to easily find you as well. You could also consider joining Facebook groups for alumni.
If you already have some work experience, and are decided on the industry you want to further your career in, participate in discussions in groups or communities in line with your chosen occupation. Also “like” or follow companies’ pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the latest opportunities they offer.
Additionally, if you have produced any content or are an integral part of a project or development of a product, you could also look to the aforementioned platforms to not only promote them to potential customers or clients, but also share it as part of your experiences and achievements.
Your social media profiles can serve as a tool to emphasize your personal and professional values and goals, and for potential employers to gauge how well you’ll fit within their company culture. While your skills and potential, coupled with hard work, is what ultimately gets you hired and determines how successful you are in any role, the way you present yourself is what can get you in the door, and in this digital age, one of those ways is through social media.
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Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with over 2 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients, and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.