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Social media can help or hurt your job search

Social media can be an incredible tool to help you land your next position and jumpstart your next career adventure. But, social media can also doom your success if you aren’t using it judiciously because most recruiters go straight to social media to find out who you are online.

When I review applications, the first thing I do is check the candidate’s social media profiles. I look at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the more personal side of their lives, and I visit LinkedIn for their professional profile. I compare their personal and professional online personalities to make sure the applicant is consistent, which, to me, is a positive sign that they understand the negative implications of using social media irresponsibly.

According to an article in Forbes magazine, nearly 50 percent of job seekers surveyed by use social media on a daily basis, and almost 75 percent of hiring managers surveyed said they use a candidate’s social media profiles to determine if the individual conducts themselves in a professional manner.

“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s not surprising some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” Rosemary Haefner from is quoted as saying.

The key is sharing social media in a way that shows you at your very best and to be consistent across the platforms you use. Highlight milestones you’ve reached, the complex project you lead and how you pulled the team together, and don’t just talk about these things on LinkedIn; it’s just as important to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the same way, customizing your posts for the applicable channel.

Don’t forget about the basics of grammar, spelling, punctuation and good sentence structure. Having any of these basic errors can also be a red flag.

But, it isn’t all gloom and doom. A number of employers surveyed said they hired candidates BECAUSE of their social media profiles.

So, I don’t want you to just think about editing your social media profiles to delete anything that could be perceived as negative; I want you to use social media to constantly and consistently put your best self forward so you land that perfect job or take that next step in your career.


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