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Social Media Job Search

A Few Basics
  • “You are being watched & judged” More from source
  • Employers accept social media as fact (“social proof”) More from source
  • Online records MUST be consistent with CV & résumé 
  • If you have a common name, mistaken identity can be cause for concern
  • LinkedIn remains the #1 social media job search tool used by recruiters
  • Use social media to direct recruiters to your professional site or portfolio

Best Practice: Manage Your Online Presence

  • Separate your public and private profiles (identities)
  • Clean up content or delete accounts that hurt your professional image
  • Pick a unique username then stick with it professionally*
  • Establish a dedicated email account for job search and professional social media*
  • Use the same professional photo on all social media sites* 
  • Complete “About” sections & profiles, including city and professional email*
  • Connect professional social media accounts (e.g., Google Plus)*
  • Use Google Alert (or similar) to monitor all versions of your name*
  • Google yourself & analyze results. Do this often!*

*Common name? The asterisks denote critical actions to take that will help recruiters confirm your identity from others with the same name. 


LinkedIn is a powerful marketing & network tool that works for you 24/7 in ways that your other job search documents can’t. Your LinkedIn profile contains elements of your CV/résumé, but you have greater format flexibility to “sell” your knowledge, skills & abilities. Recruiters find prospective employees a variety of ways, including searching on relevant keywords and through industry connections and LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn's proprietary algorithm identifies the profiles that best match a recruiter's search request. Also know that a Google search will yield matching LinkedIn profiles. To boost the chances of a recruiter finding your profile, you will need to

  • Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete, with a professional photo.
  • Strategically add key words that describe your technical/disciplinary skills and transferable skills. These keywords need to appear in your LinkedIn headline, summary, experience and job titles. (Ideally, your keywords will match those in the job description!)  
  • Build your network with professional connections. More=Better, but your 1st degree connections 

    with complete profiles will boost your ranking.

  • Strategically join professional groups within and across your discipline – they add 

    relevant keywords to boost your ranking.

  • Use LinkedIn's publishing platform to generate content and add visibility!
  • Connect to key recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals of companies where you would like to work. More from source.


According to Jobvite, 90% of employers/recruiters do “background check” and 70% have rejected job seekers due to inappropriate photos, comments, likes and shares. Knowing this, you need to purge your existing Facebook all content that detracts from your professional image and add content that enhances your professional image. Add positive comments/images/activities to demonstrate your character, values & that you are well-rounded. For example, replace partying photos with images from volunteer work, outreach, service learning or internships. Post comments about research, teaching and professional conferences. While it's ok to post pics of family, pets, hobbies, vacations and friends, use judgement on groups, causes, or friends that are controversial or may detract from the professional impression you are trying to reinforce.


Twitter is a great way to gain visibility for your expertise, ideas and leadership ability. Already in Twittersphere? Create a separate username under the @ symbol. Make your username unique - a memorable one that relates to your profession.  Be mindful of what you tweet! Remain professional at all times. If you Tweet on matters related to your profession (and it will enhance your image), add your @username to your signature block. This invites recruiters to review your posts!

Google Plus (G+)

G+ is one of the largest social media networks, and there is some anecdotal evidence that recruiters are using it to develop talent pipelines. That said, reliable data are not available so we do not know how many recruiters use G+, what jobs they are looking to fill, or how many have been hired. Further, some are questioning if G+ will survive. It's impossible to tell how well G+ may work for you, but it may be worth your time to develop a brief profile simply to have a presence there. Why? When a recruiter uses the Google search engine to find prospective employees, the Google algorithm mines Google Plus pages FIRST, then moves on to other social media accounts. By having a G+ profile, you increase the likelihood of ranking higher in Google search results. Further, you can use G+ to point to your other professional social media accounts. This is a timesaver for recruiters and, if you have a common name, can help eliminate mistaken identity.

Like LinkedIn, on G+ you have the ability to develop a profile and write/share professional information, but you can control who sees the content. Like Twitter, you can meet/connect to others without an introduction. G+ also offers Circles, Communities & Hangouts for connecting with recruiters and vice versa. According to the G+ folks, it is also designed to keep your personal sites separate from your professional sites. Know that your G+ information will be visible to anyone.

Free Advice and Resources on Social Media Job Search

Career Enlightenment by Joshua Waldman by Susan Joyce

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