How Social Media Impacts Your Job Hunt – Do’s & Don’ts

Over the last decade, there has been a vast change in the way we manage our job search, given the introduction of social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Even today, it continues to evolve with the proliferation of other tools such as Twitter, SnapChat and YouTube – Yes, YouTube. People are posting video resumes on the Internet! Something we thought would only happen in the movies.

So how do you leverage, or don’t, the tools that are available in creating your personal brand? How about your personal Facebook page that should now be considered a part of your professional, online presence?

While it seems easy to point out the “don’ts” in creating your online brand – no posting of inappropriate images, party photos, or rants against your current employer – the “do’s” of branding are much more nuanced. “Branding is what others perceive you to be,” said Devin Keane, Director of Professional Recruiting at UBS Wealth Management Americas. “It’s nice if it matches who you perceive yourself to be,” but this may not always be the case.

How others perceive you is beyond your direct control, making it difficult to know which aspects of your persona will be well received and which will be met with hesitation.

At the event: How Social Media Impacts Your Job Hunt – Do’s & Don’ts, hosted by the Financial Women’s Association and UBS, a panel of four Head Directors and Senior Recruiters from UBS offered insight on effective branding strategies for social media.

Here are the key themes that were discussed:

  • Be consistent.If you have multiple social media profiles, make sure you maintain a consistent brand across all platforms. A professional LinkedIn profile should match a professional Twitter feed, Google+ profile, or any other social media platform. Kristin Koloniaris, Director of Operational Due Diligence, recounted looking for a childcare provider and finding a viable candidate, only to see later that many of that candidate’s Facebook comments included profane language.Your brand is your “promise” of what you will bring to the company. Having inconsistencies across social media platforms destroys the integrity of that promise.
  • The more the better.Associate Director for UBS Wealth Management Americas, Victoria Edelman explained: “The way recruiters search on LinkedIn is usually using keywords. The more content you have in your profile, the more searches you’re going to get pulled into.”However, don’t shy away from posting more information when outlining accomplishments and work experience, and make sure to include buzzwords such as “project management” and “Six Sigma” where applicable.
  • Be wary of unconscious bias.Unconscious biases are pre-conceived attitudes and stereotypes that unconsciously or implicitly affect a person’s decisions and actions.  So take the time to consider how recruiters will react to personal information.
  • Don’t wait! Your online presence is not merely a job-hunting tool, but it’s also a way to promote yourself as an active participant in your industry or company. Join industry groups and company networks that are relevant and of interest to you. It is also worth noting that many recruiters use social media to search for passive candidates, with LinkedIn being their primary platform.

Social media is here to stay, but keep in mind that these platforms only show a glimpse of who you are. “There still needs to be a personal element,” says Koloniaris. Networking and being physically present at events prove that you are committed to your industry and goals.