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Locking down a job before graduation might be one of the more stressful things you'll endure in your adult life. For some, the process may seem easy, and for others, it feels like the real-life hunger games. In conjunction with going the traditional route — applying through job portals, reaching out to your network, or casting the net hoping to get lucky — you can also land a job through social media. Aside from the GIFs and cat videos, you can use social media to your benefit while on the job hunt. Here's how:
Clean Up Your Social Media Profile
According to The Muse, about 92 percent of companies are now using social media in the hiring process, and three out of four hiring managers do a bit of lurking on social media before considering a candidate. Before you even think of using social media to seek out a job, make sure you comb through each and everything you have ever tweeted, posted, or liked. Prior to becoming a writer, I thought I was going into the digital marketing and social media space, so it was a given that hiring managers would look at my profile. During an interview for an internship I applied for, the hiring manager even commented about how curated my accounts were. What they didn't know was that I had two separate accounts: one for my friends and one for my work endeavors. For me keeping things separate just seemed more professional.
I know that uploading pictures of your nights out is standard as a millennial, but I recommend locking your private account and creating a separate profile that you would be okay with a potential employer seeing. This way you can use your business account to interact with companies and people in the industry without them noticing that you are on Insta giving live updates of your bottomless brunches. Companies know that you have a life outside of work, but it's the same as if you are in college. You wouldn't want your professor or mentors to see your every move on social, so you definitely don't want your boss to either.
Interact, Interact, Interact
Now that your accounts are "clean," it's time to start interacting with companies. A lot of things have changed over the years. In the past, many companies weren't on Instagram at all. Now, HR departments run their company accounts. This is where you'll be able to shine. Company HR Twitter accounts either post about jobs and internships that are available, interact with specific workers, or even open up the floor for questions.
If you have your eyes set on a particular company, you need to stalk its profiles, its employee's profiles, see what they're liking, and even comment on what they are saying. There's a thin line between becoming a stalker and becoming a familiar face. For instance I landed my first job out of college because of Twitter. An editor I followed tweeted out that her team was looking for writers and I immediately liked and commented that I was sending my application over.
Not only did she like my tweet, but when she emailed me a week later, and I mentioned I followed her on Twitter, she remembered the tweet I sent. Now, this is not the sole reason I landed my job, but it definitely helped. Interacting with the editor of the team I would eventually work for gave my application the opportunity to stand out. I didn't have any writing experience, besides a personal blog I liked to write on, and my high school newspaper days, but the editor took a chance on me because she thought the tweet I sent was bold in the best way possible. Don't be afraid to interact, remember these people may seem scary, but they were in your spot back in the day too.
While it's difficult to let your personality shine on social media, you have to find ways to get creative and stand out. When I tweeted the editor, I knew that this particular publication was all about being ultra feminine and quippy, with a dash of quirkiness. I made sure my tweet reflected that. Not only did I make a pop culture reference, but I also added a GIF. By modeling my tweet after the publication's style and voice, this showed I was in tune with the company culture and a good fit to join the team. Just sending a simple tweet may not cut it when you're interacting on social media. A key tip is to think about what catches your eye when you're scrolling through your own feed. In a sea full of applications, posts and likes, you can stand out and get the job of your dreams.
Allanah Dykes has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Politics from Fairfield University. She started her freelance career in 2016 and has written about how to land a job post-college, internships, and the interviewing process. She has pieces featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, and Popsugar.