5 Top Tips on using social media to get a graduate job
If you’re a recent graduate, social media is probably a significant part of your everyday life. We’ve grown up in an increasingly digital world, and hopped on each social media trend that’s sprung up. But while using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr in your personal time might be second nature, it’s easy to forget that you can also use them to find jobs or to boost your employability.
Here are some top tips to make sure you’re making the most of social media while on the search for graduate jobs.
Use multiple mediums
Most companies will use multiple social media channels to build and maintain their brand, and you can get great insight into the company by looking at all of these. A company might have a blog alongside its website, as well as a LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook presence, and each of these will give you a slightly different sense of what the company does and is like to work for.
Each channel might also play a different role in the company’s recruitment strategy. When researching a company, you may find that it places job adverts exclusively to followers on Facebook, or be more likely to answer questions from candidates on Twitter than Facebook.
Similarly it’s best not to limit your own social media presence to just one site. If you establish good profiles on multiple sites you’ll both build a stronger personal brand – your presentation of your skills, goals, values, and identity – and avoid the risk that a recruiter is interested in a channel you don’t use.
Post regularly and stay up to date
Although you can stay quiet on social media and just use your accounts to search for jobs and internships, it’s generally more effective to have an active profile. If you list social media skills on your CV, you should mention specific sites and back up your claims with an active and engaging profile. Millenials are expected to be tech-savvy, and it’s best to show you can walk the walk as well as you talk the talk.
A blog is a great way to show off your writing or design skills, and prove you’ve got an interest in and knowledge about a subject, but it’s not as impressive if you update only rarely. Blogging regularly shows your dedication to the subject and proves you’re self-disciplined and motivated.
Equally, on LinkedIn make sure your profile is as complete and detailed as possible. A professional and appropriate profile picture increases your chances of getting profile views, and a detailed list of your experience and achievements lays out your assets clearly to employers. Keep your information up to date to avoid misleading employers and maximise your appeal as a potential employee.
The same goes for Twitter – list key skills and aspirations as part of your bio, and don’t hesitate to include the fact that you’re job-hunting. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn page, to point potential employers towards a more detailed resume of your skills and experience. The more integrated your approach to social media is, the more you’ll impress employers looking to hire a graduate.
Sites like Twitter are great places to network. Online you can engage in conversations about the industry you want to go into, reposting relevant news links and voicing your own opinion on emerging issues. Even if you’re unable to start a conversation with someone in the industry, following them and paying attention to what content they post will keep you savvy. This will help when you come to interview, as you’ll be well informed – both about the issue and where a company might stand on it.
Make things easy for employers
If you have relevant social media profiles you’re proud of, don’t wait for an employer to find them. Be proactive and include a link to your blog or your Twitter handle on your CV. You can also include this information in any speculative emails you send to employers as part of your signature, for example:
Pay attention to spelling and grammar
On a site like Twitter your written style will likely be very different than if writing an extended blog post, but it’s still worth getting the basics right. This is especially true if you’re going for jobs that demand good written and communication skills. Double check your LinkedIn page for any mistakes as well. Spelling mistakes are a cardinal sin in CV writing; typos are number one on the list of employer turnoffs when reading a CV and it’s especially easy to overlook your mistakes onscreen.
Think before you post
Make sure that what you’re posting publically is appropriate, as you could damage your chances with an unfortunate tweet or status. You’ve probably heard horror stories about people who’ve been turned down because they posted about drunk antics – the friend of a friend who apparently was asked at an interview to explain why he had no trousers on in an old profile picture. It’s more likely that if an employer’s quick search turns up anything inappropriate they just won’t contact you in the first place. Make sure you keep your Facebook profile private or sponge embarrassing old statuses and pictures.
Also, don’t forget that it can be equally damaging to post complaints about your current workplace or colleagues. You want to come across as having a positive, personable attitude and moaning won’t win you any favours with a prospective employer.
This doesn’t mean your profiles need to be bland; you can still let your personality shine through. In fact, many employers place a lot of importance on a graduate’s personality, because making sure you’re a good fit for the company culture is as important, if not more so, as your experience. Match the nature of your content to that of the site; while your LinkedIn profile should be the height of professionalism, on a site like Twitter you can show off your opinions and interests, within reason.
If you want to go into the creative industries, letting employers get a sense of your character can be especially beneficial. If you’re an Instagram fanatic this could prove an asset– demonstrating your artistic nature and giving an employer a sense of your interests outside of work – but again you should be conscious of what you post and how this reflects upon you.
Equally, for a site like Tumblr, you might find that it’s best to have a professional blog in addition to your personal one. This allows you to show off your creative side – posting original written, digital, or artistic content - while avoiding underwhelming employers with material reblogged from other people (or overwhelming them with your love for Tom Hiddleston).
Looking to kick-start your graduate career? Check out Inspiring Interns’ for graduate jobs in Manchester and London, or visit their blog for more graduate careers advice.