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Beyond a Profile Page: A Continuous Discussion of “Seeking Jobs on Social Media”

It is no longer a secret that companies use social media to recruit and select managerial candidates. As a result, if a job seeker wants to catch an employer’s attention, s/he must be visible online as an expert.

Last year, I published an article about social-media job-search tactics in HOSTEUR™, in which I shared some career advice with hospitality and tourism students. A year later, I was invited to write an article of the same topic for the HealthyYou Magazine, but this time my target audience is the students majoring in nutrition science and public health. I actually offered similar advice to both groups (even though with different wordings). The truth is it doesn't matter in which area(s) a person wants to advance his/her career. The basic tactics of using social media in job search remain the same. Here are some examples,

  • A job seeker must understand the characteristics and qualifications that his/her ideal employer is looking for in order to design/develop an appropriate personal brand that fits into this employer’s expectations as well as his/her own career goal.
  • Having a presence on major social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is good, but not enough. A job seeker also needs to actively participate in online forums and discussion. The more useful information this person shares, the better. The more this person helps other in a specific area, the more likely this person will be known as an expertise in a particular domain.
  • It is nice to connect with the industry experts, professionals, co-workers, clients, and people who share the same interests, but these connections may not mean much if we never interact with them. A trustful relationship is built over time through continuous interactions.
  • Being negative and critical is fine because it shows a person’s professional knowledge (at least it indicates that this person is capable of identifying an issue), but it can be better if this person is able to offer constructive feedback, suggestions, and alternative solutions to help solve the issue.
  • In order to leverage the power of social media, professionals and students must be willing to share their knowledge and some personal information online. A person can have the most brilliant idea in the world, but such wonderful idea might never be discovered or searchable by a potential employer if this person keeps everything private.

What do you think? Will those tactics work in other disciplines besides hospitality and tourism, nutrition science, and public health? What other useful suggestions will you make to those job seekers who plan to use social media in job search?

Kwok, Linchi (2012). Beyond a profile page: Using social media to build a personal brand and impress potential employers. HealthyYou Magazine, 12(1), 14 – 15. Also available on  


  1. I agree that social media has become a large part of many recruiting processess. When you have a recruiter googling your name prior to hiring you it is important to ensure what they find will be professional. I believe that Facebook, at least for me, is a profile that is for sharing your experiences with friends. For this reason, I keep my profile private and restrict what others can see prior to friending me. I have a LinkedIn account and that is where I conduct any communications that I want to have professionally.
    I think that many fields not just within the hospitality industry are looking at profiles and looking to see what they can find online about their potential employees. Social media will continue to expand and will continue to be a large part of our society.

    -Jen Kaplan

  2. I believe that social media is a very important tool in terms of using it in a professional setting no matter what the industry is. I think that the younger generation of job seekers needs to be very careful in terms of how they use their social media especially if they are using it in a social setting. I would suggest to anyone who is trying to enter the work force that they either make their sites completely private or they be sure to make an account that is solely used for professionalism. I think it is very important for people of the younger generations to make sure that they are up to date all the current and social media trends and to even have accounts for all of them. Employers of older generations are looking for new and fresh ideas to better their organizations so these skills are necessary.

  3. I agree that social media is a large part of today's recruiting process. Exposing yourself on social media is important because it allows employers to see what type of personality a person has that they can't see through on a resume. These tactics, as you asked can be used in other work disciplines. There are many employers who use social media as a recruiting process in every industry including the ones you have mentioned above. What's most important to students who will be graduating soon is that we use social media as a benefit or an opportunity. Yes, everyone uses Facebook to stay connected with friends but there are other forms of social media that can allow you to show your intelligence and professionalism which well help you if you were searched on google. Write a blog or two, an article, analyze the world and don't be afraid to be creative in doing it. That's what employers want, to find your unique strand from all the others.

    -Christine D.

  4. Over the past few years, social media has becoming an increasingly large portion of how to publicize your area of expertise. I am a nutrition major and recently I have started working for a Registered Dietician. She is not as common with facebook or twitter as I am so she hired me to be apart of her team to tweet nutritional facts for her. The techniques I use is to look up important news articles or healthy recipes that would interest the public and I then post it to her Facebook page. I also seek out other nutrition groups to comment on their Facebook pages. Also while applying for jobs I noticed that most job seekers want an employee who is social media savvy. Instead of filing papers most job seekers are looking for an employee to broadcast their field of practice.

  5. I agree that social media is very important in our daily life now and it become a great tool for ppl to seek jobs. However, when doing the professional communication through these social networking, ppl should be careful about their privacy.
    ~ Di Yang

  6. While these suggestions are very versatile and useful for any background, there are some aspects I agree with and others not as much. For sure you can get a good picture, or somewhat of an understanding of what someone is all about by looking at their Facebook page or LinkedIn page. However, both those sites are used for different purposes. Granted I am quite cautious about what I post on my Facebook page, because let’s face it; every person has different motives from the next. I for one only use Facebook to catch up with old friends and update others on my whereabouts through pictures and status posts. As for my LinkedIn account, well that’s just business. However, I cannot say the same for everyone in their use of Facebook. I am under the thought that what is in your private life is your business not mine. As an employer, your private business would only become a concern if it is impacting your ability to execute job tasks productively and to the best of your abilities. I agree with being connected with social media in terms of creating a positive professional message, because after all you do represent the company you work for. However, it is important for job seekers to understand that not everyone uses social media the same, so it is important to be aware of the image you are displacing the next time you decide to post a picture of yourself doing questionable things.

  7. This article should be of interest with every college student. The social-media projects a very integral profile in a person's professional profile, and should be constructed to be as best fit in this environment. These suggestions of how to not only uphold your profile, but the actions that are necessary to use social media as a networking tool to its top potential must be parallel to these ideas. As for nutrition, the broad potential of areas to where these student-major's can work is increasing due to the high demands of good nutrition into the lifes's of American's. Therefore, nutrition student's have a very high potential of getting the right networking through works such as blogging and writing articles for major blogging companies. Personally, I believe the opportunities the social media world and the habitual blogging that is existing today is very beneficial for nutrition and nutrition science students.

  8. Social media is a unique challenge teenagers and college students are faced with today. Our generation has grown up with so much media and technological exposure that we do not realize how much can be monitored and recorded about our personal lives. As mentioned above, social media can be an excellent resume builder and tool individuals can use in their profession. Maturity is important when dealing with these type of sites and users need to be aware what they say and post represents the companies they work for. As a nutrition science student social media will play a huge role in my profession. When dealing with clients it is essential to be as available as possible and with social media sites to increase customer service and promote business. Another important thing to keep in mind is to separate your business accounts with your personal. It would be unprofessional to use a social media site for both uses.

    Frank Chiaravalloti


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