LinkedIn and Twitter are not the only social media that can help you in your job search
by Sophie Mackenzie
Video-based social networking app TikTok, popular with Generation Z – born between 1997 and 2010 – isn’t just for showing off mastery of the latest dance challenge or uploading viral recipes: it could be the go-to for your next career move.
“Applying to jobs is so daunting, so the fact that I had just one video and could apply to multiple jobs and submit my LinkedIn profile at the same time, that was amazing,” said 21-year-old Harvard graduate Jade Walters in a CNBC Make It article by Jennifer Liu. Jade participated in the pilot programme for TikTok Resumes, through which employers advertise open positions and invite young jobseekers to create a video resume. Her video soon had more than 13,000 views, and interview opportunities followed.
There’s an app for that
“Social media is a valuable job search tool that many potential candidates underestimate,” writes career and life coach Caroline Castrillon in an article for Forbes.
“In a survey of recruiters and hiring managers conducted by [US-based job-seeking platform] LiveCareer, Facebook emerged as the clear winner for managing your professional social media presence (74%), followed by LinkedIn (56%) and Instagram (49%). As many as 68% of recruiters said job seekers need a LinkedIn profile in 2021, and 65% of hiring managers said that they don't mind being contacted by potential candidates on LinkedIn,” she reveals.
Almost 78% of the UK population is active on social media, according to research by socially led creative agency We are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite, so it's unsurprising that employers are turning to these platforms in their search for talent. And the pandemic has accelerated the trend, with “almost all employers” moving their graduate recruitment promotions online and most of them (91%) using social media to advertise graduate vacancies, writes Daniel Higginbotham in an article for the graduate careers website Prospects.
Getting it right
But social media can be a double-edged sword for jobseekers. With many employers – particularly in the financial services sector – conducting rigorous background checks on potential hires, it’s essential that your online profiles don’t reveal aspects of your life you’d prefer to keep private.
“The first step is to Google yourself in incognito mode,” advises Caroline, to prevent the search being skewed by your browsing history. “If you find any inappropriate posts or photos, remove them or tweak your privacy settings. You'll still want hiring managers to find you, so keep some information public such as your employment history, location and professional skills. No matter how stringent your privacy settings, people will always be able to see your profile photos on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, so make sure you’re happy with these.”
And don’t be tempted by a ‘more is more’ scattergun approach to social media. “Being ‘active on social media’ doesn’t mean opening an account on every platform possible,” warns Erin Greenawald in a practical guide written for The Muse. “It’s much better to have a well-crafted, up-to-date account on one or two platforms than to have a bunch of accounts that haven’t been touched in years. Every job seeker should have a LinkedIn account, and a Facebook or Twitter to show that you’re a real person doesn’t hurt. Beyond that, consider what’s really important for your industry.”