You might be surprised to find out 90% of employers, myself included, look through the social media profiles of applicants they consider hiring. When the resume and the interview are not enough, especially when I handle the job hiring for fresh graduates, I turn to the applicant’s social media accounts to gauge his/her personality and see if my impression of the applicant matches with how he/she presents himself online.
You might even be more surprised that proper use of social media can actually land you a job.
Nina Mufleh was passionate about working for Airbnb, but wasn’t getting anywhere with sending application emails and meeting with the company. To get the attention of Airbnb, she put up her own website that presented a detailed market research and concise but detailed statement on not only why Airbnb is a good fit for her, but on why Airbnb would want her in the first place.
Her impressive webpage resume got the attention of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and CMO Jonathan Mildenhall. Her website also got the attention of companies all over the world that directly showed their interest in her through social media. While she still didn’t get the job at Airbnb, she got a job that she loved in Upwork in less than two months.
If social media can help leverage, or even assure, your chances of landing your dream job, it can also be a major factor in ruining them. Whenever you post something publicly on your social media accounts, you want to ask yourself: When someone Googles your name, are they going to see the same person they saw in the resume or on your Kalibrr profile, or is it going to be an entirely different persona?
Here’s my advice on how you can use social media to help you get your dream job:
1. Use an awesome but professional profile photo.
Sorry, but your graduation photo won’t cut it, especially if it’s been a few years since you graduated.Grab a camera or even use your iPhone’s camera, put on a professional outfit, and have a friend shoot you with a nice background in the late afternoon sun. Your photo is often the first (and sometimes only) thing people see on your social media profile so you want to make an amazing first impression with it.
2. Produce good content, constantly.
If you’re a writer, do you put your writing on a public blog for people to read? If you’re a photographer, do you publish your photos only on Facebook and don’t use Instagram with the right hashtags? And if you’re on Facebook, what kind of things do you post? What do you share?These factors have a significant and real impact in terms of how you’re perceived by others, and a future employer may just see that you post insightful topics that could lead to a conversation with them.Don’t ask or beg companies for a job. Let your intelligence and talent draw them to you. Putting your content, and therefore your thoughts and a showcase of your skill, online will allow the right people to discover you.
3. Always be helpful within your network.
Being helpful, without being snarky, is another way you can use social media to create a positive image about yourself. If you see someone asking a question on a Facebook wall that you can answer, you should provide a well-thought-out response to it. If you run into an insightful link on Twitter, retweet it on your feed so you can help people expand their reach using your network.By being helpful online, not only do you show competency by being able to solve problems even in informal settings, you also expand your network by building good rapport with people you help out.
4. Be yourself.
Be genuine.While it’s important to be constantly mindful of what you post online, don’t overdo it by sharing only what you think others would like. People, specially seasoned employers who have seen all the ways people put on acts to impress others, will know if your social media presence is but a sham.After all considerations about your posts, be yourself and be sincere with what you do online. People in your network will appreciate that even if they will sometimes disagree with you, and the right people will naturally flock around you if you use social media well. It also reflects well that your natural self is as professional as can be, at least online.Besides, if your genuine self is not getting you the right interactions in the first place (or worse, the wrong interactions), maybe it’s time you took a look at yourself and see what you need to improve on in the first place.
About the Author
Paul Rivera is the co-founder and CEO of Kalibrr, a technology startup transforming how people find jobs. Kalibrr is the only Filipino startup to have won over coveted investors like Pierre Omidyar (eBay Founder) and Y Combinator (Alumni include Reddit, Dropbox, and 9gag). After quitting Google, he started Open Access BPO, a pioneering outsourcing company that brought many Silicon Valley startups to the Philippines.
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