Careers Advice

Staying social media savvy

Nowadays, everyone is posting photos and comments on social media for all the world to seeā€¦ including your potential employers. Janice Wallace from the ScotGrad team offers her advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and make the most of your social media channels.

Published: 10/02/2017

The majority of organisations check candidates’ online footprints when recruiting, so your social media profiles are now arguably as important as your CV. You might impress an employer with your experience, qualifications and skills, but if the organisation is put off by your social media updates, it’s unlikely that you’ll be invited for an interview.

Peers and potential employers will use what you post on social media to form opinions of you before they meet you. To nail your first impression and land the perfect placement, give your employer and the rest of the world a positive impression of you online.

As well as showcasing yourself, employers use social media to promote their organisations and advertise vacancies, so knowing how to make the most of social media will undoubtedly help your search for the right placement.

Not all social media platforms are for the same purpose, so follow the simple guide below for making the most of your networks.

LinkedIn

For some students and recent graduates, LinkedIn might be a completely new platform, like Facebook, but with a shirt and tie on. As well as advertising jobs, LinkedIn is the number one way employers research candidates, so is absolutely invaluable for job-hunters.

LinkedIn is a professional social network, so avoid posting pictures of “Magaluf ‘16” and instead use it to record your achievements, credentials, experience and skills.

Tailor your profile to the industry you want to work in. There are professional groups for all sorts of sectors, so follow some that will interest you and help develop your knowledge.

Connect with people you know or have worked with or met at professional events to expand your network of contacts. It’s useful to keep up to date with what other people are doing and you never know when you knowing the right person might come in handy.

For more useful information and tips on making the most of LinkedIn, check out our guide.

Twitter

Many people use Twitter to further their professional network as well as discussing lighter subjects. Twitter is a lot less formal than LinkedIn, so adding a bit of personality or opinions to your tweets is absolutely fine.

That said, it’s best to avoid topics that can be seen as controversial, divisive or offensive. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t want it to be brought up in a job interview, don’t write it. Try to avoid criticising people or organisations, as you may end up working in partnership with them later on in your career.

Organisations, including ScotGrad, also advertise jobs on Twitter, so it can be a useful tool to widen the net of your job hunt and engage directly with employers.

Facebook

Now that you’re a consummate professional, it might be time to change your profile picture from you and your mates on a night out and go for something more employer-friendly. Although employers admit to checking applicants’ LinkedIn profiles, when they Google names, Facebook profiles often appear among the first results.

We’re not saying you should remove all memories of your student/school days from Facebook, but check your privacy settings and amend them to only show information you’d be happy for the general public, and employers especially, to see.

Follow these simple steps above and nail your placement application