BBC Inside Out - 10 top tips for using social media to your advantage when applying for a job

  • Neil Edwards appeared on the BBC's Inside Out programme on 6 February discussing the use of social media profiles in the recruitment process.  He was also on BBC Radio Sussex and Bright FM in the morning discussing the same topic.

    If you are currently applying for a job, here are our 10 top tips for using social media to help you win the position you want.

    1. Be aware that prospective employers will search for you online. Don’t panic – instead use this to your advantage.

    2. Polish your LinkedIn account before applying for any jobs. LinkedIn is your virtual CV and will give people looking at it an idea of your contact base and your experience.

    3. Be one step ahead. If you are applying for a job – follow the business on Twitter, ‘like’ the company Facebook page, and follow the company page on LinkedIn before you meet them. It shows that you’ve done your research and you’ll gain some useful knowledge about the company, which you can drop into the conversation.

    4. Maintain your presence on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Contacts count and can be remarkably helpful as you develop your career.  The old adage that it's not what you know, it's who you know, is true and it's never been easier to keep in touch with friends and contacts.

    5. Look for jobs on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Employers will often post their vacancies on social media to attract applicants.

    6. Don't put anything on your social media accounts that you wouldn't be happy to see on a billboard outside your home, school or work.

    7. Be professional at all times in your approach to social media. Don’t swear or voice extreme views that may offend. Remove any photos from Facebook which show you in a particularly bad light (the odd photograph of you out having fun shouldn’t do any harm).

    8. Don't criticise your current or previous employers -  it might be freedom of speech, but you are asking for trouble.  If you talk about work, make sure you don't breach any confidentialities.

    9. Although words are often shortened to ‘text speak’ in social media – try to avoid persistent spelling mistakes and bad grammar wherever possible.  This will avoid your command of the English language and general attention to detail  being called into question.

    10. Finally, remember that first impressions count.  Your social media presence is your personal brand.  Protect it at all times.

    Watch Neil on iPlayer (5 days) 

    Listen to Neil on iPlayer (6 days - go to 02:25:00) 

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