Job Seekers Should Be On Instagram – Help Them Use It Effectively

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Instagram is for memes, dog videos, and — finding your dream job? Well, it is now.

Influencers, companies, and other users have long benefited from the personalized connections they make on Instagram. Now, your job seekers should be taking advantage of the platform for their job searches every day. Actually, more and more job seekers (35 percent) say they’re finding out about job openings on social media, according to a survey conducted by Jobvite

Using Instagram, your job seekers can network with employers and professionals, showcase their talents, and gain an extra edge when searching for their dream job. Here’s a quick look at how you can help:

Take stock of their account

Reviewing social media accounts and adjusting privacy settings is a normal part of your job seekers’ searches. But if they’re going to use Instagram to land their dream job, they’ll need to make their profiles public. 

Analyze your job seekers’ social media pages. Really dig in and critically review their page from a hiring pro’s viewpoint. What message is it sending to potential employers? If their pages are set as private or full of content you would advise against allowing potential employers to see, offer a few options.

They can clean up their current account, deleting anything inappropriate and start from scratch. Or, they can keep their current account private and create a new, “professional” public account to use for job searching. The decision is up to them, but be sure they know how to maintain the level of professionalism employers will look for on their social media wherever you leave off. 

Help them rebrand 

Many job seekers will need your help to turn their personal presence more professional. That doesn’t mean it should mirror their LinkedIn profile or that they can’t post photos of their cat. But they should think of their Instagram account as an opportunity to showcase their skills and show potential employers who they are off-paper. 

For example, if you’re helping a job seeker look for a design role, help them brand themselves as an artist. Encourage them to post passion projects, doodles, or anything else that reveals their creativity and talents. 

Other fields won’t be as easy to represent in an image, but that just means you’ll need to help them get creative. Remind them to post photos of the exhibit floor at conferences or from other industry events, they can share memes related to industry news and trends, or post shots of recent accomplishments. 

If you’re not sure what images various employers want to see, investigate. Take a look at their Instagram pages. What are they engaging on and sharing? What is their culture like? Get an idea of what makes your job seeker a good fit for their team and what unique skills they can bring to the table. Then help them choose which best-fitting traits to showcase. 

Offer a list of effective hashtags

Search for common hashtags used in your job seekers’ fields and make a list for each. Doing so helps open the door to networking opportunities — which gets them one step closer to their dream jobs. After all, 37 percent of job seekers surveyed by Jobvite said they learn about jobs through professional networks. 

For best results, don’t stop at teaching job seekers to use hashtags on relevant photos they post — they should also search them regularly. Networking involves liking and commenting on photos from other professionals in the field. Also, use hashtags to find influencers in their industries and employees who work for their dream company. Send job seekers regularly updated influencer lists so they can “follow” and start connecting.

Show them how to stalk employers

Find company Instagram accounts and start searching their page for information. Keep in mind that some employers have separate accounts for posting jobs and connecting with candidates. This can be a great place to find job openings and answers to some of your job seekers’ questions about what working in their dream job would actually be like. 

Show job seekers what information to look for on company Instagram accounts — both careers pages and general accounts — that will give them information to help in the job search process. For example, they may learn that Friday is bring-your-dog-to-work-day, or that the team they want to work with volunteers every month at the local food pantry. 

Help job seekers practice using this information in the job interview. Tell them to first share what they found, why it makes them excited to work for that company, and why they think they’ll be a great fit. Not only will they impress hiring managers with their research, but also they’ll be able to show exactly why they want to work for the company and why they’re the perfect match. 

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.