Social media is a great place to keep up to date with your friends and enjoy the latest videos and media from your favourite celebrities, but many job seekers miss out on the excellent opportunities social media offers to conduct company research, understand whether a company is the right fit for you, and get some insider knowledge of what it’s like to work there.
Let’s also keep in mind that professional networking channels like LinkedIn are the perfect place to join professional conversations, connect with a wide network including ready-made groups of alumni from your university, and to self-promote.
Plenty of companies check a candidate’s social media channels during the recruitment process so it’s worth tidying your profiles if you’re looking for a job. This topic divides opinion, but remember that if you’re putting content into the public domain using a social media platform, it’s your responsibility to understand and manage what that content says about you and how you’ll be perceived because of it. You can’t undo a first impression so take some time to objectively review your presence online.
Using social media can really help you stand out during the recruitment process:
- Fact-find: Follow companies, brands, professional organisations, and experts. Keep up to date with the main challenges and opportunities in your chosen sector and investigate what people are saying about the organisation you’re applying to. To understand the company’s brand values and ethos also think about what the company says about itself, how does it want to be perceived, what messages does it want to portray?
- Join a conversation: To extend your research and to engage with companies you’re interested in, review which conversations the company is getting involved in online and join in. Remember it’s a professional conversation, so avoid emojis and text-speak and ensure you’re using an appropriate tone and style.
- Self-promote: Especially relevant for LinkedIn, you’re missing out on an opportunity to promote your experience, skills, and other awards and attributes if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile. Think of this as your online CV with added benefits.
Use the right platform - Not all social media platforms are created equal. Think about your goals and remember to make your profiles employer-friendly if you plan to use these platforms for research or to join a conversation. A great place to start is your profile picture and overview.
LinkedIn: professional networking
Employers use LinkedIn to conduct research on applicants. Your LinkedIn profile can be used to receive recommendations, showcase skills and have them endorsed by your network, and much more. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, consider creating one. It’s a great platform to keep a concise record of your achievements, experience, and skills electronically. Tailor your profile to the sector you’re interested in, join relevant groups, connect with people already in your personal and professional network, write articles, and change your settings to show you’re actively looking for work. There’s plenty to explore using this platform.
Facebook: All round use
Facebook offers a range of advertising and promotional activity for employers, and linked with Instagram it’s an easy way to get a message out to a wide audience, with competitions, live streams and much more, as many platforms now do. Facebook was one of the original social networking platforms and remains incredibly popular. Google searches of your name will often highlight your Facebook profile and your pictures, so it’s a good idea to check your settings.
Twitter: keep up to date with the conversation
Twitter is a brilliant business to business platform alongside all the news stories that flitter across the page a mile a minute. Avoid getting involved in controversial topics or criticising companies/people… or manage your settings as concise word counts can often lead to your tweets and replies being easily misunderstood or taken out of context. Many companies use Twitter to advertise, but also to share successes, join industry-level conversations, and share relevant content.
ScotGrad companies are all SMEs. This means they might not have a wide web presence so their social media channels can help you to gather that all important research to support your application.
Find current vacancies on our graduate placements page.