With social media presenting itself in every industry, indeed it has impacted the job market. Websites such as Indeed and Simply Hired have made it easier than ever to match applicants with desired jobs; however, sometimes omitting the middleman allows for a quicker process. Personal branding is such a large focus in today’s world, it is no surprise that employers are starting to use social media as a means of screening potential employees. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat provide employers with an easy way to see if an individual’s values align with the company’s identity.
New employees are increasingly found not in formal interviews or job-related websites, but rather on social media sites where users go to post their thoughts and feelings. Keep reading for inspiring real-life tales and tips from people who were successfully hired after leveraging social media.
Tracy Clayton, Journalist
How she got hired: Clayton gained Twitter attention after she helped to launch the hashtag #BlackBuzzFeed. With this hashtag, users imagined what BuzzFeed would be like if it catered to a black audience. A BuzzFeed editor noticed her tweets and contacted her, offering a job. At first, she was hesitant to accept, but after they flew her out to New York for a tour of the office, she changed her mind.
Her top tip: “You never know who’s watching you,” At a panel at NYU, she told students that she doesn’t let the potential for more eyes on her account hold her back; in fact, she admitted that she tweets about her menstrual cycle every month. She’s a perfect fit for BuzzFeed because she’s funny, brash, and honest. She isn’t afraid to innovate and do things differently. “Don’t marry yourself to the old ways of doing things,” she said.
Rose McManus, Photographer
How she got hired: McManus’s Instagram is a true work of art. By simply looking at (@rose_mcmanus), you’ll be able to see clean, white backgrounds with sharp, minimalist shots of coffee, skylines, and portraits. It looks like something straight out of a lifestyle blogger’s dreams. “An acquaintance of mine messaged me through Facebook asking if I’d be available to take portraits of her,” she said. “She told me she’d asked me because she followed me on Instagram and she liked my style. She wanted portraits that looked neat without looking too posed.”
Her top tip: Whether you want to or not, your social media accounts establish your brand. “Brand management does not mean you cannot be yourself,” she said. “It means having a distinct understanding of who you are and what you have to offer and effectively communicating that. A brand provides consistency and allows potential customers to anticipate a specific return on their investment.”
Celia Ampel, Journalist
How she got hired: Ampel, an intern for the Miami Herald got creative with her Twitter followers. “I followed the managing editor of the South Florida Business Journal and other important people in my field,” she said. “There was an open position at the Business Journal, so he emailed me and asked if I was interested. They were impressed that I could tweet several times a day.” Part of her job fit the qualifications they needed, she excels in social media posts.
Her top tip: “Interacting with other professionals on Twitter can only benefit you,” she said. “Use common sense when tweeting personal information and keep it tasteful.”
Clark Walker, Barber
How he got hired: Walker’s Instagram is full of pictures of people he has met and hair he has cut. He saw that Fellow Barber was hiring, so he left a comment saying how much he wanted to work there.“They took a look at some of my pictures,” he said. “It allowed them to see what I could do, what I had been up to, and a little about myself. It’s not the only thing that got me hired, but it gave them a chance to get to know me and my skill set.”
His top tip: Walker said that it’s never a bad idea to market yourself, especially if it’s free. However, she cautioned that you should always be aware of who might see your posts. “Instagram can turn into a great way to show off your portfolio and what types of professional skills you’ve got, or it can be used to show off your selfies and fancy appetizers. Do what you want with it, just know lots of people might take a look one day.”
Abigail Carney, Journalist & Banner Butter employee
How she got hired: “I find Twitter useful for networking and sharing ideas with other writers, editors, and communications people,” she said after coming across a job posting for Do512, a local events blog. “They were looking for someone social media savvy and in the know, and I guess that was me.”
Carney also worked part-time at a butter factory – why not, after all? “Banner Butter posted on Instagram about looking for part-time workers, so I emailed them from there,” she said. “I’d just posted in a Facebook group a few days prior that I needed some part-time work to offset freelance life chaos, and the universe and my friends delivered (via the internet, of course).”
Her top tip: The best way to promote yourself is by being authentic. Be true to who you are, and people will respect you for it. “Figure out a genuine, true-to-yourself way to stand out,” she said. “I’m not necessarily the coolest or most qualified cat, but when responding via Instagram and Twitter I try to use fun and interesting sentences, calling on my copywriting background. Show them some personality and surprise them—you can do it in 140 characters! Also, make sure your social media accounts accurately reflect who you are. I’m a kooky freelance writer who does a myriad of things, so my accounts are goofy stories and pensive, weird photos and ponderings. Know yourself.”