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How to Get a Job: Is Social Media Your Frenemy?

Seeking employment during a global pandemic can generate a special type of panic. People are getting laid off because their industry relies on in-person contact and the application process is rapidly evolving to keep up with all of the changes dictated by COVID-19. Without the opportunity to meet candidates in person, many employers are looking to social media to find out more. Its emphasis has never been greater!

Statistics support the importance of a clean social media presence. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 70% of employers use social media to screen potential employees. It also states that 48% of them did the same to current hires and 34% have fired or reprimanded employees due to what they had found. Perhaps even more surprising is that 57% have decided not to hire candidates because of their social media activities.

But why did employers look at job candidates’ social media presence before the pandemic in the first place? Like most things, it’s just a sign of the times. Social media use is extremely prevalent these days. So, it’s only natural for employers to utilize it to investigate potential hires. The internet makes for easy access and social media is often more telling regarding a candidate’s character than a resume or an interview.

These statistics might intimidate young job seekers who likely joined social media around the ripe old age of 12. But rest assured, if you’re smart about it, you don’t have much to fear. In fact, 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site.

Bringing Out Your Best

1. Don’t delete your social media. While this may seem like an easy way out, studies show otherwise. A 2018 CareerBuilder survey found that 47% of employers are less likely to follow up on job candidates if they have no online presence. By today’s standards, having an online presence means you’re present and functioning in society. The major social media platforms that employers explore are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you’re not on these platforms, open an account and start posting.
2. You may want to get rid of some posts. No matter how old, delete any posts that contain slurs, curse words, inappropriate jokes, hate speech, illegal activities, alcohol, drug use, or any type of discrimination. These are absolute dealbreakers! If this comes as a surprise, chances are you’re not the right candidate, to begin with.
3. Create a separate, professional account. Maybe you’re like me and not disciplined enough to refrain from tweeting bad jokes late into the night. The good news is you don’t have to be. Creating an exclusively professional account is a great way to balance the image you want your employers to see with the image you wish to share with your friends. If you want to distance these styles, even more, consider making your personal account private while keeping your professional one public. Just remember which one is more important when it comes to landing a job!
4. Change your username. If you don’t want to create a professional account, you can easily rebrand your main account. The first step is to change your username. It doesn’t have to be your full name, but it should have some resemblance to it that you’re not ashamed to say out loud.
5. Promote your content. Social media is easily the best way to promote yourself. It acts as a quick and easy online portfolio for employers to delve into beyond your resume. Without throwing away the actual portfolio, make sure your social media accounts aptly reflect what you want with the appropriate professional polish.
6. Showcase your accomplishments. Most people use social media to post selfies or photos of them having a good time. There’s no harm in this, but it’s also important to highlight your accomplishments. Even if you think they might seem trivial to others, share them anyway. If you’re proud of it, post it! Employers want employees who take pride in their work.
7. Highlight your goals. Whether it’s publishing a book or starting your own company one day, make sure your posts reflect this ambition. Employers want driven achievers.
8. Social media platforms prioritize posts differently. While all platforms allow you to post videos, photos, and texts, they don’t all do so equally. For example, Instagram isn’t the best platform to post an article you wrote because it prioritizes visuals and doesn’t allow links. Inversely, Twitter isn’t the best place to host your podcast because it limits the length of videos and who may post audio. Know the platform and post accordingly!
9. Utilize more than one. While your posts may vary depending on the platform, you should be equally active across all of them. If this seems overwhelming, consider using a social media management tool. Apps like Hootsuite, Buffers, and Sysomos allow you to schedule posts for each platform at little to no cost.

With the perpetual advancement of technology, it’s never been easier to search for a job. Postings are seen on nearly all social media sites that carry ads. However, it may be harder to get and maintain those jobs for the same reason. A strong work ethic just isn’t enough anymore. It must be combined with a refined and professional social media presence as well.

Along with being vital to a job search, the realm of social media has become a vibrant place for investment and growing one’s wealth. Our ‘Demand Social’ portfolio focuses on companies dedicated to improving social connectivity. Schedule a video conference today with one of our advisors about constructing a comprehensive financial plan and social investment strategy that aligns with your values and personal financial goals.


This report is a publication of Demand Wealth. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.

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