How to Make Social Media Work for You When Looking for A Job

Sam Rogal
Posted by

Social media is often how we communicate with friends and family, it’s often viewed as personal. However, if you are a job seeker you must remember that one of the first things a potential employer will do is search for your name online and it’s likely that your social media profiles will be seen and reviewed. You should always assume that someone from a job you applied to is going to see your social profiles. One thing you could do to avoid this is simply delete or deactivate all your social networks prior to applying for a position. But if you want to keep them, here are four things you can do to not only clean up your social media but to have it help you land a new position.

Edit Anything Inappropriate
If you want to keep your social media the first thing you should do is go through every post (yes EVERY post) and decide whether or not it’s appropriate for what you’re applying for. Now everyone’s definition of appropriate is different and there is no way to know how someone could interpret a photo or tweet so it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you're not sure whether or not something is appropriate just delete or archive it.

You should also allow the type of company you are looking into drive how you prune your profiles. If you’re applying to an organic food company you may not want a photo of yourself chowing down on fast food. It’s always a good idea to find the mission statement of the company you’re applying to and to make sure that nothing in your social media accounts rubs up against those beliefs. It may seem minor but you never know if one errant post could make a company re-evaluate if you are a good candidate.

Get Rid of Old Inactive Accounts
Did you make a Twitter account years ago then only posted a few things and forgot about it? Did you make a profile on a college social media page? Did you have a Myspace or Bandcamp back in the day? These are all things that may not be currently active but you never know what’s going to show up in a search. So, go through and delete any and all social media that you are not regularly using. Once again, these profiles may have inappropriate or damaging photos or posts, or they may even have been hacked and have posts on them not from you.

It’s probably best to run a Google search for yourself and see what comes up. This is the same type of search that your potential employer will do (as stated earlier) and it’s going to be helpful for you to see what they are going to see. It will allow you to find these old profiles that you may have forgotten about. You can even ask a friend to search through your results and see if there is anything they find that’s old or inappropriate. Getting a fresh pair of eyes on this stuff can be immensely helpful.

Make it Professional
These last two tips are going to focus more on how to make your social media profiles work for you instead of against you. One thing to do is to create a professional looking profile. Take a good picture of yourself in nice lighting. A picture that looks intentionally shot for social profiles. You could pay a little money and get a headshot, which is always a good investment, or even have a friend with a high-quality camera take a few pictures. This day and age so much marketing of yourself is done online that having a good professional looking photo of yourself on any social platform, especially Linkedin, can go a long way.

You can also look at other professionals' profiles that are in your field and see what sort of style and wording they use to sell themselves on social media. You don’t have to copy them but it can be a good place to start to get your ideas flowing of how to make your profile look like someone who is ready to be hired.

Curtail Your Profile to Your Industry
Another way to make your social profiles work for you is to add photos and articles pertinent to your industry. Retweet the most interesting people and articles, post photos and stories of new and groundbreaking opinions, follow the industry professionals and companies that you support and agree with.

Your social media could be the way that a potential employer learns more about who you are and you are in full control of it. You can go beyond your resume and show them the other people in your industry who you agree with and support. This coupled with cleaning up your profiles can go a long way to helping you land a new position.


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Margaret K.
    Margaret K.

    i just got an interview! Thanks for the help

Jobs to Watch