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7 social media mistakes job seekers must avoid

Sarah K. White | July 24, 2015
If you aren't hearing back from recruiters and hiring managers, it might be time to take a good look at your social media presence. Industry experts explain how you may be turning off potential employers.

7 social media mistakes job seekers must avoid

Social media can be a fun part of your day. You get to interact with friends, family and strangers -- and maybe if you're lucky, get a retweet from your favorite celebrity. But as much as you may like to put yourself out there, it can be easy to forget that your public social media accounts are just that: public.

When it comes time to job search, you may find that your social media profiles keep the interviews at bay. Just as social media has changed the way you interact with friends, it's also changed how recruiters find and qualify potential candidates.

But the answer isn't to go offline and deactivate your profiles, because as Jayme Pretzloff, director of marketing for Wixon Jewelers points out, "Not being on social media sites can absolutely hurt your chances of being recognized and, ultimately, hired."

The bottom-line is you need to cultivate a professional and personable online presence. You can find that balance by avoiding these seven social media mistakes.

Abandoning your professional profile

You might have fired up a Twitter account to connect with professionals in your industry and follow influencers and media outlets. Or maybe you finally updated your LinkedIn profile with your work history and relevant information. That's great, just don't forget to update it. Recruiters and hiring managers will be happy to see that you are active on social media, but they might not be impressed if you aren't updating it on a somewhat regular basis. In a survey of 400 executives by The Creative Group, 34 percent of respondents said job seekers make the mistake of not updating their professional profiles.

Not engaging

Social networks are about being social and interacting, not lurking in the corners watching others have conversations. Once you get used to whatever platform you've adopted, try engaging with other users. You might not get a response from everyone, but it's a great way to show potential recruiters that you're not only getting out there, but you're starting conversations and interacting with industry leaders. Pretzloff suggests that you follow companies you'd want to work for yourself, check out job search feeds and start following some recruiters. The more you build a profile that reflects your career aspirations, the more likely you are to connect with people in the industry who can open doors.

Not building an audience

Building audience goes back to engaging with other users on Twitter, and it's important to show recruiters and hiring managers that you are capable of growing an audience. It's not about having thousands of followers, either, because that can oftentimes be out of your control. But it's about cultivating a quality audience, says Samuel Scott, director of marketing and communications at "Has the person built a real audience? If so, how -- and could the same strategy be applied to our company?" says Scott. By utilizing your social media profiles effectively, it can demonstrate your ability to adapt to new technology, and that is a valuable asset for any company.


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