Social media is a crucial element in today’s social life. Everybody has a social media account, except people over seventy and technophobes. In fact, it has become a social convention. In my country, there is a ritual before you use Facebook:
- Initiation; you create a Tuenti -a Spanish social media similar to Facebook- account when you start high school.
- Transition: you create a Twitter and Instagram account, and you gradually stop using Tuenti, when you start bachillerato -college preparation-
- Incorporation: you create a Facebook account, and you gradually stop using Twitter but you keep using Instagram, when you start college.
These elements play an important element in young people’s lifestyle. However, they do not realize the negative consequences the use of social media can have or that it can be used as a job hunting tool.
Nowadays, employers, as a recruiting strategy, take a look at your Facebook account to get a first impression of the aspirants. I personally do not like this method because I prefer to keep my private and professional life separated. I do not know if this method is ethically right or wrong, but I understand the position the recruiter is in.
Your internet presence is another representation of yourself, one that everyone has access to. So ask yourself: “If I can not give a good impression of myself, how I am going to give a good impression of my company?” Recruiters know that when they hire someone that person will represent the company. The last thing a company needs is a worker, due to lack of professionalism, who will give a bad reputation to the company.
As a candidate, whether you like the method or not, always remember that your objective is to get hired. Like yourself, there are others who want your position and will go through the same process, so having your Facebook prepared will give you the advantage. To have a professional Facebook, make sure that your posts are about articles related to your profession as well as pictures from conferences or other events you previously attended. Your profile will look professional and recruiters will feel that you take care of your professionalism.
If you do not feel comfortable using Facebook –like myself-, your alternative is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media which, unlike Facebook, was originally created for the professional environment. In this social media, you can highlight all the achievements that you could not include in your resume. Another interest feature is that you can build a network and connect with people who will later be able to help job in the job hunt. Although there are some people who do not like LinkedIn, I know by a fact that in certain professions, like engineering, recruiters use LinkedIn quite often. For instance, one of my friends from SHPE –Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers- was directly contacted by a recruiter through LinkedIn.
Whether you prefer LinkedIn or Facebook –that is up to you-, social media has become another resource that the best professionals use to promote themselves. If you are able to promote your professional image through social media, you would not only have the advantage in the job hunt but also a new valuable skill.