You already know that social media can help you stay connected with friends and family and keep up on current events, but did you know it can also give you a leg up in your job search?
Social media is a great place to network with recruiters, research company culture and connect with other job seekers. It’s also a useful place to find job openings, with sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor replacing help wanted ads.
Your professional profile
As you go into your job hunt, you’ll want to make sure that you’re putting your most professional foot forward on social media.
Many companies will do an internet search for candidates, so you’ll want to take care with your personal and professional social media accounts. But don’t delete yourself entirely from the internet — being social media savvy shows that you are well-rounded.
“Social media can be a highly effective tool during a job search, or it can be your downfall. If your online image is highly regarded and sought after, you may be viewed as a positive asset to a hiring manager attempting to make a final decision between candidates,” said Darren Sherrard, associate director of recruitment marketing.
- Be cautious in what you share. You’ll want to keep your posts relevant to work — especially on public, professional accounts,. Business updates, industry news and professional events like conferences and webinars are all good fodder for a professional account. Steer clear of complaints about work, political or religious rants, personal issues and vulgar language. “Recruiters and hiring managers have access to all the history you have posted,” Sherrard said. “If you would not want your boss, your wife or your mother to read it, do not write it.”
- Use an appropriate profile photo. It might seem innocuous, but your profile photo could set off alarm bells for a potential employer if it’s not appropriate. It doesn’t have to be a headshot, but it also shouldn’t be unprofessional.
- Check your privacy settings. Keep your personal accounts secure, but make sure your professional accounts are open to the public so that potential employers can find you.
- Make sure your profile and resume are up to date. On networking sites like LinkedIn, employers will want to see your relevant experience and also that you are active and engaged in your industry.
Connect with us
At VA, we maintain an active presence on several social media sites to connect you with jobs and information relevant to you. Social media is a great place to connect with fellow Veterans and exchange professional experiences, as well as to stay informed about potential employers and openings.
Every Tuesday at noon EST on LinkedIn, we host a live broadcast to help you learn about applying to and working at VA. If you’re a Veteran, LinkedIn also offers some great additional benefits, including a year of free access to its premium subscription. This comes with an incredibly valuable resource — a library of over 10,000 business, technical and creative courses on LinkedIn Learning to help you brush up on your job skills.
Glassdoor is also a great place to learn more about our culture and get new position alerts as soon as they’re posted. You can hear directly from current employees on Glassdoor, where our rating has recently increased above the Glassdoor average to a 3.6.
Work at VA
Learn more about our rewarding careers helping care for the nation’s Veterans.
- FOLLOW VA Careers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
- SEARCH for job openings near you.
- LEARN more about the benefits of working for VA.
- VISIT vacareers.va.gov for information about working at VA.
This is an update to a blog that originally appeared on VAntage Point in 2015.