Deanna Hartley, CareerBuilder Writer
From making flippant racial remarks to posting unhygienic pictures on the job at a fast food restaurant, there are larger-than-life instances of what NOT to do on social media. On the flip side, social media could work in your favor if you’re looking for a job — if you do it right.
Some savvy job seekers are leveraging it to their benefit to catch the attention of potential employers, and you can follow suit with these tips.
Update your social media profile. Whether you like it or not, social media is an extension of your personal brand. Did you know that 60 percent of employers are peeking into candidates’ social media profiles? So clean up your Facebook profile or make it private. Add skills and/or recommendations to your professional social media profiles, and make sure to use keywords wherever you can so your profile is easily searchable.
Use multimedia to supplement your resume. While some job seekers have actually gone to extremes by advertising themselves using social ads on Facebook or Google AdWords, being over-the-top dramatic is not always necessary to catch an employer’s attention. Consider creating an online portfolio of your work, creating videos that show off your skills, producing a Snapchat channel that highlights your creativity or using other non-traditional avenues that would give employers a sense of your professional prowess.
Make strategic connections. While it’s great to connect with Ron from the last networking event you went to, be proactive and seek out professionals in your field. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice — many professionals, as busy as they are, will be happy to help. Establish connections with individuals who work at the company you’re applying to and reach out to them for tips on how to get your foot in the door.
Follow your dream employer’s social media accounts. Not only will it help you connect with the company, but you can also follow the social media feeds to do some more research about the company and determine if it’s a good cultural fit. Oftentimes, brands tend to be more authentic and engaging on social media than other corporate channels, so look for personality and fit.
Start interacting with corporate social accounts. The recruiter or hiring manager at your dream company may not return your calls or queries in a timely fashion, but chances are you’ll have a better shot at a two-way communication using social media. Retweet and share relevant posts. You don’t need to be a subject-matter expert or thought leader to reply to their tweets or comment on LinkedIn posts or Facebook posts — but do so only if you have legitimate feedback/opinions or something constructive to add to the conversation.
Personalize conversations. What you find out about a company or hiring manager online can help you find topics that sit well with the hiring manager so you can personalize conversations or even thank-you notes. Keep in mind there’s a line between being diligent (scouring for professional insights) and creepy (looking to see how many children they have), so don’t cross it.
Get more insights on employment-related social media you should be using.