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The use of social media in your quest for a placement

29th Sep 2017

 
There can be no arguing that Social Media now plays an essential part in everyday life and this includes looking for a placement opportunity.  Whether it’s researching companies, networking or finding out about a new position before it’s advertised, social media platforms allow us a way of doing all these things. 
 
Facebook, Twitter and Linked In can all be really useful ways for us to expand our search for a new role, however they can all have a negative effect on our job search if they are used incorrectly.
 
Research shows that many hiring managers will consult your social media accounts to screen potential employees.   They look for information such as your professional image, qualifications and information on your past employment.
 

Tips for Social media use in your search for a placement

 
Make sure everything sells you in a positive light.
 
It is important that you check your privacy settings and ensure that any content that a potential employer sees avoids the following:
  • Inappropriate images
  • Poor communication skills
  • Discriminatory content – including offensive remarks or shared jokes and memes
  • Negative content – long rants on specific topics
  • Comments about previous employers
Don’t feel the need to have accounts on every Social media platform.
 
Be Social media savvy, it’s much better to have a well-crafted, up-to-date account on one or two platforms than to have loads of accounts that you do nothing with. Every job seeker should have a LinkedIn account, and a Facebook or Twitter account helps to show that you are a real person.  Beyond that you should consider the platforms that may be popular in your industry or that you could see yourself actively using, if you don’t take pictures for example then there really isn’t much point in opening a Snap Chat or Instagram account.
 
Don’t use made up or silly nicknames, use your own name
 
Where possible use your own name or a name or screen name as close to your own as possible.  Not only does it look more professional, but it means that people will be able to find you more easily.  You should try to keep your name the same (or at least similar) across all platforms. 
Be consistent with your personal appearance and branding
Photographs should be, professional and friendly but most importantly up to date and again should be the same or similar across all your social media outlets.
 
Bring your accounts to one place.
 
Your social media accounts should be a portal for people to find out more information about you, you should on all your accounts add links to projects or somewhere people can gain access to your work.   If possible you should create a personal website to act as a landing page or another good idea is to allow access to all your platforms from one place for example add them to your Linked IN account and then employers can gain access to all the social media platforms you want them to see form one place.
 
Add links to your other profiles and your resume
 
Make sure you add links to your resume of you want them to be viewed by employers openly, show them you have nothing to hide.  Your social media profiles are now a great representation of who you are and where you’re going, so make sure they’re out there! Put your Twitter handle on your resume, mention your industry-specific network in your cover letter, and tell people where to find you on your business card or your email signature. If you’ve done the work to make them good and professional, don’t be shy about sharing them!
 
Don’t use it as a professional communication tool
 
Whilst it is good for you to promote yourself via these methods what you shouldn’t do is use it for Professional Communications, it’s not a good idea to contact employers directly through social media particularly if you are trying to get interview feedback or thoughts on your application.  In most cases the person who can give you these answers will not be the person who is responsible for the social media pages.
 

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