Looking for a job? Then perhaps you should spring clean your social media accounts!
In this digital age, more and more graduates are finding jobs through social media rather than via recruitment firms and job sites. And, as all PR companies need staff to be digitally savvy, there is now no point going down the traditional route to find employees. Instead, most PR firms advertise their vacancies on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. (I haven’t quite resorted to Snapchat for this yet!).
For graduates trying to get into PR, Twitter offers a chocolate box of options to connect and follow the exact people who have the vacancies. Having a presence on social media and searching is not quite enough – prospective employees really need to work their social media. They need to connect, follow and engage in order to both demonstrate skills and get ahead of the pack. For example, where I might not accept a LinkedIn request from a graduate I have never met, I cannot stop them following me on Twitter. So straight off we have a connection – and so the challenge begins!
However, stop and think before you rush off and follow me on Twitter! As we all know, social media works two ways. When I get a response to one of our Twitter job ads the first thing I do is to click on the user’s identity and see what they are tweeting about. Too flippant, lots of expletives or brainless drivel will immediately get them struck off the list. I once explained to my Social Media Caveman of a husband how to access Facebook pages. He immediately looked up his employees, only to find one of them listing his hobbies as “taking illicit substances and avoiding the boss”! Another time, when interviewing candidates, I had the foresight to check them out on YouTube and, to my delight, found a couple of eye-opening videos of one candidate there! A very useful – and time saving – exercise for me.
So my point on social media when looking for a job is – use it wisely – and consider a thorough spring clean before you put your head above the parapet. Once you enter the working world you will be open to scrutiny and you will be deemed a “professional”, so everything you say and do in the public domain must fit with that. Of course, you can protect your Facebook, as we all should, and you can have a Twitter for your public views and a private one for the personal views from the pub, but we all know that what goes online stays there forever.
Using social media to find a job and then further using it to demonstrate your grasp of digital media, offers you a powerful tool. However, what it tells us is that it is no longer enough to have work experience and great references. These days you also need a witty and effective Twitter persona, a blog (that is thoughtful, clever and well written, naturally), sensational Instagram photography skills, a firm grasp of how social media integrates with PR programmes and examples of excellence in using social media to influence, while doing all of this in a professional manner.
So, delete the pictures of the outrageous holiday, the saucy comments about Love Island and the dodgy selfies you took in a club. Spruce up your social media presence, begin talking about things pertinent to PR on your blog and social media platforms and get ready to create and confirm your professional persona. Then start looking for the jobs.
If you can do all this while keeping your cool, checkout our current graduate vacancy here