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Social Media in the Job Search Process

By: Alyssa Schwarck, Marketing Intern

In today's society, social media is all the rave. People just cannot get enough of it and are sharing their entire life stories on these platforms. There are conversations being had, pictures being uploaded, and status's being posted. But, with all of the excitement for these social media outlets, comes mistakes that job seekers are making. These mistakes can ultimately lose them job and/or advancements in their careers. When you are in search for the perfect job, your Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn account may be the last thing on your mind and that is mistake #1.

Employers and recruiters have entered the 21st century and with that, they are adapting to new ways of finding the perfect candidates for career opportunities. They are opening their eyes and seeing that qualified job seekers and passive candidates are on social media sites and that they are sharing their achievements, down-falls, and personalities on these platforms. By doing so,employers are getting a firsthand look at who the candidates really are. In fact, according to the Agribusiness HR Review, 29% of companies are using social media to recruit talent for open positions and 25% are planning on using it in the near future. Furthermore, a study conducted by Reppler shows that a whopping 91% of employers use social media sites to screen prospective employees. Take this information and run with it. Make sure to be mindful that if you are applying to jobs, recruiters and employers will be looking at your statuses, tweets, and discussions. Now that you are in the "know" use that to your advantage and avoid mistake #2: Having unprofessional content and grammatical errors.

We all have that one person on our favorite social media site that is always posting their weekly bar crawl pictures, spelling every fourth word wrong, and constantly complaining about their employer. Do not be that person and clean up your media outlets. Yes, that means taking your college beer olympics pictures down, deleting that status about how you hate everyone you work with, and yes, even that joke you posted a week ago that has punctuation errors and derogatory language. A red flag is raised when employers see these things on social media sites andmost likely, will not consider you for their open positions.

The rule of thumb is that if you would not want your grandmother to see it, then do not put it online. Clean up your social media footprint and showcase yourself in a professional manor. This leads us to mistake #3: Not highlighting your achievements and qualifications on social networks.

Now that your media outlets are cleaned up, go ahead and put the spotlight on you. Think about it as if you were making a brand for yourself. Update your past and current jobs. Put content on these platforms that is relevant to the industry you want to work in. Employers want to see that you are knowledgeable and engaged in the field of work they are hiring in. By showcasing your skills and shedding light on the industry through posts, discussions, videos, and articles, you are just making yourself more marketable. It also backs up everything on your resume by showing that you are engaged in the industry. To make sure that employers know you are active in your field of relevance stay clear of mistake #4: Not associating with industry professionals via social network.

Since you are on social media already, put yourself out there and network with other professionals. One thing that will always stay true is that ‘who you know, will get you where you need to go’. By networking on social media you are meeting professionals all across the spectrum. This givesyou a chance to possibly be hired by them in the future. To successfully network, join groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to the type of job you want. Also, follow your companies of interest on Facebook and Twitter. This gives you a chance to engage in quality discussions with them. By doing so, employers will take notice and want to know more about you. Just make sure that when responding back, try not to act “spam-like” but to be knowledgeable and diligent.

Overall, being on social media networks is a balancing act. You can still have them for your personal life; just make sure to keep it professional. By keeping it professional, you have the ability to showcase your skills and what makes you stand out against the competition. It’s time to get serious about having a social media footprint because it can either make or break you in the new era of recruitment.