Maxwell Stephens

The Impact of Social Media on your Search for Work

Every week the media reports on unemployment levels, new redundancy announcements and speculation about companies downsizing or being bought out seem to be publicised with depressing regularity. The world of work may seem a somewhat negative place at present however for many this is a good time to look for a new job, to move up the corporate ladder or indeed change fields altogether.

With social media being as popular and accessible as it is, many are turning to online sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and even Facebook to further their chances of gaining paid work. Social media may help, but it may also hinder; therefore it is important to consider your social media use carefully when looking for employment.


Building a Personal Brand


Consistency across the board when it comes to building a picture of yourself is key, as is showing the world, and prospective employers, what you are made of.


Blogging has grown to become an extremely popular method for individuals to showcase their skills, experiences and portray themselves as an expert in their field and within a specific niche. Writing about key topics in a way which proves an individual is an authority on the subject is an effective way to boost their online profile and shine a light on their experience.


In order to maintain personal branding which portrays you as a professional, loyal and trustworthy person who would be an asset to anyone’s company, it is important to be mindful of the impact that personal content being shared may have on future job prospects.


The Negative Aspect of Social Media


Ranting about a past or current employer will not score points with anyone considering you as a potential new employee in their own firm. Photographs of you half naked and drunk won’t do much for your professional image either. It is important to remember that once content has been published on any of the social platforms it may be difficult to delete it permanently, especially as sharing updates and photos may quickly spread information further than anticipated.


To combat this many have separate accounts for personal and professional interactions, altering privacy settings as appropriate. This is mostly effective however is not full-proof therefore those wanting their social media efforts to have a positive effect on their recruitment chances as opposed to a negative one would be wise to act with decorum online.


Using Social Media to Network


Meeting people via social media is a great way to build a contact list. Using tools such as those on LinkedIn will help potential candidates connect with those who could possibly increase their job prospects.


It is also extremely unfortunate that many candidates forget the social aspect of social media and actually interact with contacts. Sharing quality content is fabulous however it doesn’t give anyone the opportunity to sell themselves on a personal level.


Sharing For Sharing’s Sake


A thriving social stream will incorporate quality and relevant content, be these pictures, blog posts, updates / tweets and information that is useful and adds to the professional image.


Sending Candy Crush invitations to everyone on your friends list daily or constantly retweeting amusing yet not so professionally relevant tweets will not only reduce the positive impact your previous efforts across social media have encouraged; they will irritate people and they may stop following you and your content completely.


There is a fine line between sharing an adequate and effective amount of information and spamming so despite all of your content be professionally motivated it is still important to consider the frequency and the timing of your content sharing.


Using the Tools Social Media Offers


Professional platforms, again such as LinkedIn offer account holders the opportunity to display and advertise their professional qualifications, skills and experience. Often site users overlook this opportunity and so their social media efforts do not have as much of an impact on their job-finding as they might have hoped.


Looking Beyond Social Media to Find Employment


It is clear that using social media to enhance your profile online shows your worth professionally. Finding and interacting with useful contacts via online networking opportunities will increase your chances of finding work. With the World Wide Web being such a vast and ever-expanding place, it is sometimes possible to find yourself getting somewhat loss amongst the masses.


When choosing a reputable and professional recruitment agency as your main tool for looking for work you may be confident that instead of fighting against the tide of people all vying for attention that you will have a dedicated recruitment specialist working on your case.


Recruitment agencies are about finding the right job for you, rather than any job. If you are in a position where you are looking for work as a result of a redundancy, looking to change speciality and try something new or perhaps you want to move elsewhere in order to open doors for advancement, a recruitment agency will support you in this.


The years of experience recruitment specialists have in manoeuvring the job market means that finding a position that will give a candidate everything they want and need is much more likely, especially given that those working in recruitment have an amazing amount of information and relevant contacts in place to help someone secure that dream job.


In addition to this recruitment workers are best placed to offer up to date support with CV writing, interview technique advice and more so that as well as finding those elusive vacant positions, you will be given everything needed to maximise your chances of being the successful candidate.


In Summary


Social media has revolutionised the way in which the world interacts with everything from family contact to professional networking often taking place, in part, online.


Using social media effectively is a clever way to increase your chances of finding the perfect position however it is clear that a more targeted approach, and often a quicker one may be to consider using a recruitment agency such as Maxwell Stephens to find opportunities and help you prepare for interviews.


There is of course no doubt that social media may feature heavily in showing prospective employers how you perform outside of the workplace and for that reason if nothing else it is wise to always be aware of how your social media interactions may appear to others.


Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens

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