Social media engagement is no longer just about liking videos of cats or sharing pictures of last night’s amazing meal. Now, these platforms are being used to power people’s careers and help job seekers land new opportunities. Today, it’s about more than likes; social media engagement is actively driving the modern job search. 

According to a recent survey, nearly 15 percent of job seekers use social media to find their next job. It stands to reason that this number is only going to rise, not only because of our growing usage of social media in everyday interactions, but because employers are embracing these platforms, too. In fact, recent information from CareerBuilder revealed that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. 

However, there’s more to optimizing social media for you job search than just cleaning up your profiles and making sure to only share the most professional version of your online self. While updating your online presence with potential employers in mind is an important first step, here are some more things to keep in mind as you set out on a social search:

Share Relevant Content

Once your profiles are buttoned up and ready for employers’ eyes, it’s time to get in the habit of sharing content that’s relevant to your job search. This means going beyond personal updates announcing, “I’m looking for a new job!” by keeping an eye on the conversations happening in your industry of focus. For example, if you were looking for a new job in healthcare IT, it would be a good idea to share articles on topics relevant to that area of work, such as the latest innovations in electronic health records, every week or so. Not only will this show employers that you’re interested and excited about the industry, but it can also spark conversations with peers! 

Focus on Others

Being active on social media during a job search is about more than self-promotion. True social media engagement goes beyond a one-sided conversation, relying on interaction with others. In addition to following companies you’re interested on social media platforms, it’s also important to engage directly with individuals. Instead of simply liking an update, consider adding your voice to the conversation with a thoughtful comment or reply. This could spur further discussion, deepening your online connections.

It’s a Big Social World Out There

LinkedIn is a great place to start on social media if you’re looking for a new job. After all, it is the social platform that has become synonymous with professional networking. While job seekers should certainly have an up-to-date profile, including all relevant work experience, and be actively engaging with other LinkedIn users and their posts, there’s a whole world of social media out there to explore! 

From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter, companies are sharing information every day with their social media followers. Many employers even have separate profiles devoted to their hiring and career building efforts. While it may not be the first place you think to look, these accounts may be sharing insightful updates about company culture and career opportunities that may be unavailable anywhere else. You never know when it might pay to connect!

Social media usage has been on a steady incline for years now. As individuals and companies become more sophisticated in the way they use these tools to seek out and review job candidates, it’s up to job seekers to improve their own social media engagement. By going beyond a mindless like and actively taking part in conversations, connected professionals can separate themselves from a crowded field of applicants!

Do you have any tips for boosting social media engagement as a job seeker? Join the discussion in the comment section below!