How important is social media when applying for jobs?
Is anyone really bothering to look at your LinkedIn profile?
Well, it’s been found that 93% of hiring managers look at social media profiles before deciding whether or not to hire someone. 
You can’t argue with that number.
Whether you like it or not, social media does play a big role in the hiring process.
If you’re looking for a job, you need to find out how to optimize your profiles to impress potential employers.
Read on to find out exactly what to do.
Which social networks matter most?
Let’s say you only have a limited amount of time to work on getting your social media profiles up to scratch.
Which should you focus on?
Well, there’s been some handy research from Jobvite which gives us all the details on how recruiters use social media. 
LinkedIn. 79% of recruiters have hired using LinkedIn. It’s used throughout the process – to search for, get in touch with, and vet candidates.
Facebook. 26% of recruiters have hired through Facebook, and two thirds use it to vet candidates before interviews.
Twitter. Only 14% of recruiters said they had hired using Twitter, and it’s used less than Facebook for vetting.
So, if you only have time to optimize one of your social media profiles, make it LinkedIn.
You should also take some time to ensure that there’s nothing too damaging on your Twitter or Facebook profiles, just in case your potential employer decides to check these out too.
However, job offers can come from unlikely places, so it’s worth fully optimizing all your profiles if you can.
How do you create social media profiles that make a good first impression?
Ready to start getting job offers through social media?
Here’s exactly what you need to do to create winning profiles on each of the main social networks.
How to optimize your Facebook profile
Before you start optimizing your Facebook profile, it’s important to remove anything that could directly hurt your chances of getting a job.
Here’s what you should watch out for:
- References to illegal drugs. 83% of recruiters said these were a strong turn-off.
- Sexual posts. 70% of recruiters weren’t keen on these.
- Swearing. Two thirds of recruiters dislike too much profanity.
- Posts about guns. More than half of recruiters dislike these.
- Posts about alcohol. 44% of recruiters said these could cause concern.
Of course, this is only a general guide, and you should use your own judgement.
If you’re applying for a job as an addiction counsellor, appropriate references to illegal drugs could be fine. Equally, if you’re looking to enter the adult industry, sexual posts probably won’t be a problem.
As well as the content of your posts, you should consider the way they’re written – 66% of hiring managers said they’d hold poor spelling and grammar against applicants.
Time to start proofreading those statuses.
It’s also good practice to keep a close eye on the photos you’re tagged in, and untag any that you think reflect poorly on you. By enabling Timeline Review, you can choose exactly where images are shown. 
So, you know what to avoid on your Facebook profile, but what should you include?
Here are some ideas:
- Information on volunteering you’ve done. 65% of recruiters like this.
- Information on donations to charity.
- News relevant to the industry you’re looking to enter.
- Achievements at your previous job.
So, keep your Facebook profile free from offensive material and post information you’d want prospective employers to see – simple.
How to optimize your Twitter profile
All of the above advice applies to Twitter as well as Facebook, so it’s pretty easy to optimize both profiles at once.
If you’re particularly keen for employers to see your Twitter profile – maybe you’ve got lots of great content relevant to your industry, or thousands of followers – then there are way to increase discoverability.
- Use the same profile picture as on other social networks
- Use the same handle or username.
- Link to your Twitter account from your other social media pages.
Staying consistent across your accounts helps recruiters remember you, and makes you appear more trustworthy.
How to optimize your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn – it’s the ultimate place to get hired, so you want to get your profile just right.
Here’s what to do:
- Choose a professional profile picture – not a snap taken on a night out.
- Keep your job history up-to-date, and avoid leaving any gaps.
- Update your education section with clear descriptions, highlighting how your qualifications make you perfect for the job you want.
- Connect, connect, connect. The more connections you have, the more likely recruiters are to find you.
- Follow relevant companies. This shows that you have a genuine interest in your field, and keeps you up-to-date.
- Write an eye-catching LinkedIn summary, highlighting your best qualities.
LinkedIn is a big player in the world of recruitment, so don’t rush through your profile. You should spend just as long as you would on writing your CV, or composing a great cover letter – if not longer.
Want to make a great first impression on social media?
It’s worth taking the time to optimize all of your profile to increase your chances of landing that dream job.
|||^||Hootsuite: How to Make a Good First Impression on Social Media|
|||^||Time: The 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You a Job|
|||^||Facebook: What is Timeline review and how do I turn it on?|