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Tactics of Seeking Jobs on Social Media

Recently, HOSTEUR™ published a paper of mine entitled “Seeking Jobs on Social Media: Are You Ready?” (p. 13 – 17). The paper answers three research questions:
  1. What is social media?
  2. How do companies use social media in recruitment and selection?
  3. What can job seekers do in responding to companies’ social-media strategies in recruitment and selection?

People who follow my blog probably know the answers very well. In today’s discussion, I would like to summarize and quote some of the tactics I discussed in the paper. I also hope to open up for comments because what you share may help a job seeker find a job.    

  • Understand employers’ expectations. Job seekers must know the characteristics or qualifications that recruiters seek in candidates.
  • Design an appropriate personal brand that fits in employers’ expectations and the job seeker’s career goal. Job seekers need to answer: “What do I want the recruiters or hiring managers to know about me?”
  • Join the professional organizations/groups on LinkedIn and participate in discussions. That means initiating intellectual conversations and answering other group members’ questions. It is very important that a job seekers shares useful information in the network.  
  • In addition to the popular social networking sites, create an account in other professional communities on the internet, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and (a community for small business). Why? They will help optimize the search engine results.
  • Use the same name and title on every social media site. This will help search engines identify and bring up the right profiles at once.
  • Cross-reference one another on a person’s social media profiles. The question is: “Do you have an information hub for all your profiles?” The hub could be blog, a personal website, a LinkedIn profile, etc. Let the recruiters and hiring managers to navigate the profiles from one to another.  
  • Build a network with industry experts, professors, co-workers, references, people who share the same interests, and people encountered in professional occasions. Whom we know matters!   
  • Before building a personal brand, search a person’s name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. See what people talk about the person on the Internet and social networking sites. If there is an issue, fix it or even hire an agent to help clean up the negative content.
  • Build a strong personal brand on social media by frequently posting relevant comments or discussions that support the job seeker’s personal brand. Over time, the job seeker should be known as an expert in a specific domain.
  • Ask professionals who are familiar with the job seeker’s work for endorsement on social media. The recommendations can help a job seeker to validate and promote his/her personal brand.
  • Because very few employers want to hire a negative person or a questionable candidate, a job seeker must be very careful when posting negative comments (unless they are constructive), complaints, or those pictures/comments that do not project his/her personal brand.
  • Pay attention to the hidden messages conveyed on social media. Do you think your pictures indicate who you are? Pictures taken at the award ceremonies are always very helpful in supporting a resume or what is highlighted on the application letter. 
  • It is all right to show a candidate’s true personality in some ways. In some degree, job seeking is similar to dating. While companies are looking for candidates who fit in the organization’s culture and jobs, job seekers also want to find the jobs they like. If a candidate “pretends” to be somebody else and gets a job offer that does not match the candidate’s personality, s/he will very likely end up hating the job and leaving the company. Rather, a job seeker should target the positions or companies that match his/her personality and be true to oneself.
  • It is important that a job candidate uses a professional profile picture and keep their profiles public to some degree. If everything is “hidden” or “private,” how would a job seeker amplify the power of social media?
  • Be very careful of the questionable content posted on the internet. If that’s something you don’t even want your family to know, probably it is not a good idea to put the content on the internet.
  • It takes time, or even a very long time, before a person can establish a strong personal brand online. So, everyone should all start practicing now regardless if s/he is looking for job or not.

Kwok, Linchi (2011, Fall/Winter). Seeking jobs on social media, are you ready? HOSTEUR™, 20 (2): 13-17.
The picture was downloaded from 

Relevant discussions:
Personal Brand and Social Media
Managing Your Online Reputation
Ways to Clean Up a Person’s Negative Online Reputation


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. Many people want to emphasize the negative side of social media in the job search process. Job applicants are always cautioned to make sure there is nothing incriminating in their online profiles. This post is interesting because it gives information on how to use social media and an online persona to an applicant's advantage. Some of your tips such as posting photos of award ceremonies or other photos that would complement your resume are an excellent idea that I had not thought of before. Rather then viewing social media as a weapon against a job candidate, social media can be used as an applicant's greatest tool if they create profiles that highlight their strengths as an employee in a particular area.

    1. Indeed, social media, if used appropriately, can be very helpful in many ways.

  2. After reading this post, I felt as though I should pass it along to some of my friends who are recent college grads and looking to utilize social media to find a job - it is essentially a quick-tip sheet with everything an applicant needs to know about job seeking and social media. One of the points that struck me the most was about having one information hub for all of your social media profiles; I think it's easy to forget that while you have made so much valuable information about yourself available, will employers be able to navigate the entire world wide web to find it? By having a main info hub, a job seeker not only gives potential employers easy access to their profiles, but they also appear much more professional and organized. I also found the point about using caution when posting on social media sites to be particularly important - with employers using social media more and more, it is crucial that applicants project themselves as desirable employees.

    1. For businesses or people with their own websites, it is good to use their websites as the information hub (let's say they are all Web2.0 websites.

  3. Tactics of Seeking Jobs on Social Media is very unique article. Better understanding.


  4. Thanks for sharing nice information.I have been looking information on the hotel management and hospitality management.This discussion has solve my concern to a great extent.I an very grateful..

    1. I am glad you've found the information useful. I appreciate your feedback.

  5. Reading this blog and the paper, “Seeking Jobs on Social Media: Are you Ready” opened my eyes to the new reality that job seekers face. Companies are now using social media more frequently to screen candidates, which calls for job seekers to adapt and respond to this change early on if they expect to be noticed in today’s job market. Before reading this, I had the mindset that social networking sites, such as Facebook, could make it harder to get a job depending on how you portray yourself in your profile. However, the idea of creating a personal brand through social media emphasized in this blog changed my viewpoint on using social media. If a job seeker effectively uses social media to display their credentials, qualifications, and personality, it can have many benefits. Using social media effectively involves using social networking sites, having a presence in online forums and creating accounts in professional communities. Using social media as a job search strategy may be easier for Millenials to adapt to since they are tech-savvy and many are already involved in social media; however, job seekers from another generation may not adapt as quickly. Overall, I’m glad that I was exposed to this information before I graduated from college. It is important for us as students and future job seekers to understand how individuals are recruited, and apply this to our own professional lives.

    -Elyse Freschi, NSD 314

  6. I found this advice helpful and relevant as I am college student who is extremely involved in social media and I will soon be looking for a job. I was extremely pleased to hear that social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be used to my benefit. I will now always remember if its something “you don’t want your family to know” or see, then it probably shouldn’t be on any social media where future employers can look. I also never thought to access the social media cites of companies. I agree that interacting through appropriate comments and questions on these cites will help when applying for a job. This is similar to the physical interview process because most employers love to see potential candidates ask questions while also having background knowledge of the company.
    -Olivia DeSalvo

  7. I found this blog post incredibly interesting, because I am currently in the middle of trying to find an internship for over the summer. I am aware that before hire, many companies like to "stalk" your various social media profiles. This is why it is always important to be careful with what pictures and comments you post on your profile. Social media can be extremely beneficial to you to say the least. It is a good way for employers to see what activities you are involved in, along with your interests. I know that when I am searched on google, there are many pictures of me with my family, along with pictures of me attending a variety of charity events all throughout the years. I try to keep my social media profiles as up to date as possible. Using social media effectively and having a presence in online forums helps you create an appearance that will be useful in the professional communities for the rest of your life. These websites are a great way to keep in touch with old friends along with making new ones. Today they will always be used to evaluate personality, and work ethic. I am glad that I am aware of this information, because I believe that it is important to have an understanding of what to expect for the future of my professional life.

  8. Social media have evolved greatly in the past 5 years. Social media sites such as myspace and Facebook attracted people for the communicative and social aspect. Now, in 2012, social media sites are being used by job recruiters and employers to gain a better understanding of the person they are about to hire. This article provides insightful information on how to manipulate social media in your favor so you don’t get denied from a job because of what is on your website. Social media cannot be avoided which is why we, as future employees have to embrace it and have a strong social media presence. Sites such as LinkedIn provide information for employers as well as getting your name out to the public and creating connections. Social media is an emerging field and our generation has to take advantage of it.

    Dean Seidman (NSD314)

  9. Although I can see the usefulness of using social media to find a job, I still don't really know how much I like the idea of using it as a way to market myself. To a certain extent, yes, on a professional site such as LinkedIn, and maybe a blog or Twitter account that's relevant to the job. The point you made about not making your social media accounts private caught my eye, because I don't feel that I should need to make my Facebook or something similarly personal open to employers to evaluate, and I don't think that should be seen as a fault. I use the internet mostly to connect with friends and family, and I keep a lot of my content hidden even from people who I'm friends with on sites such as Facebook - the way I see it, I wouldn't invite my boss to a family party, so why should I let them into my personal life online? The internet makes it so much easier for an employer to look into people's personal lives in a way they were never able to before. While in some cases, this may be a good thing, I stand by the idea that, as long as my life outside of work doesn't effect my job, it's not my employer's business, and I think that while social media can be a useful tool in the job market, it should not be over-used by employers or job seekers.
    -Morgan Gregory NSD314

  10. Social media is a great system to help people interact with others throughout the world. It is a quick, simple, and easy way to make relationships with people that can help you with future aspirations. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be used to benefit me with finding future jobs, but having a good image on these websites is what actually matters. On my profiles, only my friends and family are able to see pictures, wall posts, and tweets. I am extremely uncomfortable with having people I don't know, able to see personal information about me. Social media websites have allowed its users to control their own privacy settings, allowing its users to gain a respectable comfort level with them.

    It is incredibly important to create your own brand through social media websites. Depending on what you’re interested in, social media websites should be a helpful tool to help you convey this. I know that when I put my name into Google, there are many pictures of my family and I attending events. There are articles that describe what I have done while growing up in New York City, along with descriptions of some of the events that I have been apart of. In wanting to be an event planner, it is important for future employers to have a basic idea of what you have been apart of and your experiences. Social media has allowed its users to create a name for themselves that will continue to help in the future.

  11. That's a brilliant post! The best one i red in a long time. Job seeking have changed so much since the social media came into our life and there for, people should understand that finding a job doesn't mean only sending CV and go to job interview. It about how you present yourself online. Thanks Dr. Kwok for the useful and well written post.

    1. Thank you very much for your positive feedback, Andrew. I can only expect that very soon, new job-search tactics need to be added.

  12. Hey there! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about social media careers. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about social media careers. Keep it up!
    Use social media as your icebreaker when it comes to reaching companies about potential jobs – tweeting can be considered less intrusive than a phone call or email

    social media careers ma


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