In today’s job market, online job-search and recruitment are becoming more popular than ever. It is time and cost efficient, while providing job-seekers with countless employment options at their fingertips. Yet, the practices have evolved beyond job portals and company websites, because recruitment nowadays also takes into consideration applicants’ social media – and not only the professional kind. Yes, even our Instagram and TikTok may make or break our careers. Social media has become such a popular tool for prospective employers that by 2018, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, while about 43% of them use social media to check on current employeesi .

So what does this mean for job-seekers? First and foremost, job-seekers need to acknowledge the importance of their digital persona. Before social media became prevalent in recruitments, our primary concern was to present the best professional persona through our CV, resume, and portfolio, for that was how potential employers would screen candidates. Now, however, we need to be aware of how we present ourselves on social media. This applies to both active and passive job-seekers. Companies utilize social media in their hiring process for multiple reasons. The main reason being that social media provides a convenient platform to get to know applicants beyond what is stated on their documents;

social media present recruiters with our carefully curated digital persona. Secondly, social media may provide an applicant’s previous work samples, whether they are posted by the applicants or by other users. This is especially vital in the case of passive job seekers, in which they are usually head-hunted by companies who seek people with specific traits. And lastly, social media provides data that can gauge an applicant’s fit with a company through their values and interests, which are reflected on their connections, interactions, and even the hashtags they use. And that is precisely why social media analytics providers such as have become crucial in today’s job market. These services provide reliable and unbiased data of applicants’ social media.

They provide a convenient way for companies to optimally sort desired candidates based on their social media activities. These services can tell companies useful information such as an applicant’s interests, connections, and overall digital identity in a way that is efficient, user-friendly, and comprehensive. So what can job-seekers do to boost their digital persona and attract prospective employers? First, job-seekers need to fine-tune their digital persona; decide exactly how they want to be perceived on social media and manage the accounts accordingly. Put forth the values and interests that they want to highlight through posts, captions, or links. Always remain careful in any social media activity.

Secondly, they need to fine-tune their privacy settings. Controlling who can see their profiles and what can be seen on them is just as important as controlling what is posted. This may include creating a ‘close friend list’ on their Instagram story, limiting what other people can share about them, and – in some cases – creating a separate professional account while maintaining a locked personal account. Last but not least, be active on social media, especially on platforms related to their careers of choice.

For example, if we are vying for a career in fashion, we shall be active in posting, following, and interacting with accounts that are relevant in that industry. We shall maintain regular activities on our social media to keep them current and relevant, indicating to prospective employers how up to speed we are with industry and the people in it. In a nutshell, social media is our friend and greatest advocate when used correctly. The key is to use them to our advantage while making sure we are still having fun on these platforms. Curating a digital persona, fine-tuning privacy settings, and maintaining regular activities on social media are some of the steps job-seekers can take to attract potential employers. Follow these steps and we may be on our way to land the job of our dreams!