How Social Media Affects Your Job Search

Elizabeth Witbeck

How Social Media Affects Your Job Search

The career world is constantly changing. New technologies emerge that reflect the times we are living in. Because the world is always shifting, it can be difficult to know where things will be headed 10 or 15 years from now. It is important to keep up to date with these changes so that you can successfully apply for a job in your field.

Social media is an important part of today’s job search.

Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms did not exist 20 years ago, so many employers could not have predicted the capacity with which social media would play.

Today, social media is an important part of employment. Studies show that 70 percent of employers say they have decided not to hire a job candidate based on something unsavory they found during an online search. It is important to keep your virtual self looking crystal clean for any employers.

Be sure to build an online presence for yourself.

Many employers will Google the names of job candidates to see what they find. They aren’t necessarily looking for anything bad; they are looking to see what kind of history you have and what kind of reputation you have built for yourself.

Be sure to Google your name and test what comes up. While it is never good to have scandalous photos of yourself pop up in an online search, it is also a faux pas to not have your name appear in any search results.

This makes it seem as if you have not done anything noteworthy. If you are applying for a career opportunity, it will be a red flag to employers.

Make sure you have maintained a strong online presence for yourself.

This can include starting your own website, writing articles on other websites, doing scientific research and getting it published, or launching a YouTube channel with videos related to your field. You could go to a web hosting company such as GoDaddy or BlueHost and start your own website today for under $100. A website is a great way to promote the work that you do, whether it is photography, music, or any kind of tutorials.

If you haven’t done much independent work in your field, now is a great time to start. You can write articles, start a blog, or start a public social media channel such as Twitter.

If you are in college, find ways to get your work publicized on your university website. All of this will help you to build a positive online presence that will give employers a good impression of you.

In today’s world, people love to share things on social media. Young people especially enjoy sharing aspects of their life on social media, by positing about their weekend activities, their jobs, their friends and what they are currently doing. Sometimes people may post funny or even scandalous pictures of themselves.

Our friends may find these photos and posts to be entertaining, but we don’t know how potential employers could find them. To an employer, we might come off as immature or inappropriate or give off an image that is not professional or right for the workplace.

Remember that once you put something online, you can’t take it back.

Just like your words, once it is out there, everybody can see it and judge it. Think very hard about what you post on Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media. If you decide you made a mistake and don’t want something being broadcasted to the world, it is not as simple as deleting it.

Be sure to go into your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and change the security settings so your accounts are as private as possible. Don’t post something publicly unless you are comfortable with everybody viewing it, including potential employers. Do not post any complaints about your job search, such as how stressed out you are, or about how angry you are that you can’t find a job.

Also, do not post any complaints about your current job, such as how much you hate your boss or your coworkers. If a potential employer sees any of this, it will put you in a very compromising position for your job search.

If you find anything within your own profiles that could be considered inappropriate, you should consider removing them. If you find something on another person’s social media profiles that could be compromising towards your career, you should consider asking that person to remove them. Many social media platforms also have the option to untag yourself from posts.

If you Google your name and find a photo of yourself or something written on a website that you don’t like, you can ask Google to remove it. Remember, just because you remove something from a Google search, doesn’t mean it is removed from the entire Internet. The link to do that is here:

Social media is a great tool we all should take advantage of. Just remember to use it responsibly, especially if you are trying to get a new job.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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