Embracing social media strategies for job searches

Social+media

Social media

Julianne Calapa

Reviewing the social media profiles of job candidates remains a standard practice in the hiring process for many employers.

Posting inappropriate photos, bad mouthing a previous employer and making discriminatory remarks can hurt the chances of a candidate landing a job, according to a careerbuilder.com survey.

Employers often look for the negative attributes of a social media profile to narrow the number of applicants.

“I see a potential problem with value judgments being made too quickly by reviewing social media,” said Stefanie Moore, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Matt Fitzgerald, a junior communication studies major, said he also thinks employers potentially judge applicants too early by basing first impressions on social media profiles.

“During an interview for an on-campus job in Kent State’s Student Success Programs, they actually admitted to checking our Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram accounts,” Fitzgerald said. “They told me social media plays a huge role in the hiring process for them.”

With the awareness of employers potentially reviewing social media accounts, many applicants and digital natives have begun strategically using social media to an advantage.

Candidates who convey a professional image, show a wide range of interests, have good communication skills and show personality on social media often receive more job offers, according to another survey conducted by careerbuilder.com.

“I believe we can control our personal brands on social media,” Moore said. “We now have the opportunity to create a niche, identify what industry we want to go in and then create communities around that. Social media also allows us to network with professionals and share content in hopes of becoming a thought leader, which can help us break through the noise to get recognition.”

Colin Campbell, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship with an expertise in social media, said he also sees social media as a positive in terms of hiring.

“Never before have we been able to have such a complete picture of someone before even talking to them,” Campbell said. “I don’t think people realize the power of what social media can do. It can be incredibly beneficial.”

Fitzgerald said he always makes sure to post accomplishments, recognitions and awards on social media because these items convey a strong work ethic and dedication to a career field.

Social media remains one of the best ways to create relationships with prospective employers, no matter what industry, Moore said.

“It’s important to look at what your profile says about you,” Moore said. “You should find a happy medium between showing your personality and being professional.”

Contact Julianne Calapa at [email protected]