4 tips for using social media to find a job – without getting fired

social media job hunt

92% of businesses use social media as a recruitment tool – and 75% of hiring managers say they check out candidate’s social media profiles. With hiring managers and recruiters using social media to post jobs and identify great talent, it is obvious that you need to use social media in your job hunt.  What isn’t as obvious is how to do so without your current employer finding out.

Here are 4 tips for conducting a successful and stealthy job hunt:

1.  Check/change your settings

Before you do anything check and change the settings on your social networks.

By default, social networks are set up to notify your connections of: changes made, connections made, and groups you join.  Change this.  Go into your settings on each of the social networks you are on and change your settings so that you can fly under the radar.

2.  “Dress” professionally

You only have one chance to make a first impression.  Your social media profile may be the first impression hiring managers and recruiters have of you.  Your profile is also part of your professional brand. It’s therefore important to:

  • Use a professional picture (no pets, no cropped arms)
  • Remove party pictures and anything else that is not professional
  • Be consistent with your personal branding across your profiles.

3.  Optimize your social media profile(s)

Optimize your social media profiles to match the job you want.  I’m not saying you should make up experience or skills, rather I am saying that you need identify the skills hiring managers and recruiters will be looking for, and highlight your applicable skills and experience.  You want to optimize your profile so that your profile will not only showcase your qualifications, but will also ensure that your profile will show up when hiring managers and recruiters are searching for the ideal candidate for your dream job.

How do you do this? Start by defining your target industry and position. As you research companies and job descriptions that match your target make note of keywords (not buzzwords), skills, and qualifications that are recurring.  Optimize your social media profile(s) to include these keywords and to highlight your relevant skills and experience.

4.  Research, research, network

Research with the objectives of: identifying target companies and networking.

Use the keywords you identified in defining your target industry and position and search social networks for these keywords.  (Don’t forget to search groups.  LinkedIn groups, for example, are essential in your social media job hunt.)  When your search turns up a company that looks to be a good match, look through your connections to learn if there is someone who can introduce you to an employee at the company (just remember not to use your employer or colleagues to make the connection).  A connection is an opportunity to learn more about the company – the culture, opportunities, and challenges.

Employing these 4 techniques will help you use social media to find a job – without getting fired.

One thing to remember – a social media job hunt will prove much more successful if you have a strong network.  Creating and building a network when you start your job search will leave you at a disadvantage.  Networking is an action item necessary for your professional and personal growth. If you view networking as more than just a job search must, you will gain a competitive edge and will be in a much better place when it is time to start your search.  So, get out there and “network your face off.”


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