Podcast: How to use social media when searching for a job

Author: Chantelle Kemp, Business Engagement Manager, Hays EMEA

In today’s evolving world of work, social media is transforming the job search process for both those who are actively looking for a new job and those who may not be,but want to be ready for when the right opportunity arises.

So, to help us understand how social media can be used to find a new job, we’re joined by Chantelle Kemp EMEA, Business Engagement Manager at Hays.

1) So, Chantelle, it would be great if you could just start off by introducing yourself to our listeners.

Yes, sure. So, as you said, I’ve been working in recruitment for over eleven years. Seven of those years were spent as a recruitment consultant and I worked on large volume campaigns for DHL, Coca-Cola and Reckitt Benckiser companies like that, large FMCG’s.

After that, I transferred to the UK, where I moved into a training role and trained over 2,500 Hays consultants on social media and finding the best talent in the marketplace.

In September, I transferred over to our EMEA business where I look after Europe and the Middle East as a Business Engagement Manager. What I do in that role is I run projects and look after the implementation of our internal CRM systems.

2) According to LinkedIn, 56% of job seekers use social media when searching for a new role. How do you think social media has changed the job searching process and how are recruiters using it to find the right people?

Social media plays a massive part in our job searching and it also enables job seekers to apply to jobs easily, but it gives you a chance to understand the business and what they stand for and that’s a big change in the job searching market which allows companies not to miss out on the best talent.

It also saves time for people applying for jobs and again, one of the biggest things about applying for jobs is that you fill out massive application forms and then you can be rejected in less than five minutes, so, using social media to help you do that, allows you to search the companies and find out all about the businesses and then apply quickly and easily with your social media profile.

3) Now I’m sure most of our listeners actively use social media in their personal lives, but for those who haven’t yet tried using it to find a new job, how would you suggest they start?

So, it all starts with your profile and ensuring that you put the best foot forward when it comes to your digital online brand. So, what I’m going to take you through is a few top tips to help you with your profile.

Job title and headline:

One of the first things that recruiters search for is your job title and headline. And this is where you can use lots of different words, so it brings you higher up in the search results and we recognise this as SEO which is search engine optimisation.

Now, for example, if you look at my LinkedIn profile, my job title is Business Engagement Manager in EMEA driving industry-leading development of technology across Europe, because my job title doesn’t really tell you what I do. So, my headline captures keywords that recruiters can search on, which is technology and development so that’s one of the first things.


The second thing to look at is ensuring that you’re connected to the right company on social media platforms because this is a big searching tool for recruiters.


You must have a well-written summary which is in the first person and really grabs people’s attention as it emphasises who you are and what you do.

Contact details:

The next one is your contact details. This gives you control of how recruiters can contact you and if you would like to be contacted as well.


Another big thing to focus on is your skill set, your experience and the industry that you work in. For example, if you put the correct industry on your profile – I work for Hays so my industry would be staffing and recruiting – each week, over three hundred thousand people search using industry alone.


If you have your skill sets on your profile as well and you have at least five or more skills, you also come up higher in the search results on your LinkedIn profile and again, this is a big way that employers and recruiters search, when they’re searching on LinkedIn.

Privacy settings:

The next thing to look at is your privacy settings. Now you want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to your online brand and that you’re not letting your network know every time you edit your photo or filter anything.


Another element to look at is your client feedback. So, putting recommendations on your social media profile is a big way to build credibility and get potential employers and recruiters to get to know you before they even see you.


With your photo, it’s important that you have a professional head and shoulders shot. Remember people buy from people. So, this enables people to get to know who you are and if you have a photo, you come up higher in search results and you can get fourteen times more views.


The last thing, and not the least is to make sure you’ve got all your education and qualifications on your profile. If you have your education on your profile, you can get seventeen times more messages on LinkedIn and this is a big way that employers search for people through the schools and universities that they attended.

So, all of this adds up to making sure that you have the correct online profile and that’s a big part of selling yourselves.

4) Now you mentioned there to set your profile to state that you’re interested in finding a new role and to change your privacy settings. Are there any other functionalities and tools on LinkedIn to help a person find the right role to apply for?

Yes, so as you just mentioned one of the best options is to outline that you’re interested in finding a new role which lets recruiters and potential employers know that you’re looking but not your own employer. So, you can switch that on and that can only be seen by people with a recruiter license, not by anyone else.

Another one of the great functionalities that you can use is the job searching tool in LinkedIn which allows you to filter jobs by keywords. You can also filter them by skills to see if you match any of those skills and you can filter it by quick apply – which our millennials will love, and this is a one-click button, so you can apply easily.

When you see the list of jobs, you can set a search alert, so you can be notified of any jobs that match your search criteria. And when you click into the jobs on Linkedin, you will see as you open the job on the right-hand side that it has a list of all the skills required for the job and how many of them that you meet the criteria for.

5) Now we have talked about how job seekers can optimise their LinkedIn profiles and the importance of that of course, but job seekers shouldn’t neglect their CV in the process. How do LinkedIn profiles and CV’s work together when job searching?

So, that’s a good question because a lot of people ask me this about their profile versus their CV. Now obviously your profile sells who you are and gives an insight into what you do, but your CV goes into that next level detail that recruiters and employers look for.

Dates, timelines, the details, and responsibilities of what you do. So, for example, I am clearly not looking for a job right now, so my profile is purely updates right now because I’m all about networking and getting mine and Hays’ brand out there. If I was to look for a job, the first thing I would update is my CV.

So, it depends what you’re looking for in the market and if you are focused on that job a lot of the time you need to apply with your profile and the CV as well.

6) I imagine it’s good practice that when you’re updating your CV perhaps on a yearly basis, every six months, that you update your LinkedIn profile at the same time.

Yes, and even updating that with volunteer work or if you’re a blood donor or things like that, adding all of that to your profile also avoids duplication. So, when you are looking for a job it’s quick and you save a lot of time. A lot of the time as well when you’re updating your CV you use your LinkedIn profile to do that.

7) Once a job seeker has secured an interview, thorough interview preparation is crucial to interview success. Currently, there are more resources available to them than ever to research a company. So, before their interview, how can they conduct this in-depth research by using social media?

You’re right, there’s so much information out there, so it’s also knowing where to focus your energy. One of the quickest ways to do that is to look up the company on LinkedIn. Once you’re on the company you can see the about page, you can see what they’re posting about, they tell you about what the company’s interests are and what they’re focusing on now.

But a key method is to look at their employees who currently work there, so anonymously seeing the person who works in that role for the job you’re applying for, to see the skills set, to know how to sell yourself, but also looking at the person that you’re interviewing with and leaders above that.

You can also search for the company on Google and then click news to see if they’ve been in the news recently, and another tactic is looking at the company on Glassdoor reviews.

8) All of this activity will mean that it’s more likely that our listeners are going to be found on LinkedIn by a recruiter and if a recruiter sends them a LinkedIn message about a new opportunity, how would you recommend they respond especially if they are not actively looking?

So, this is a question we get asked a lot and I can imagine a lot of you out there get lots of messages from recruiters when you’re not interested. My personal take on this is that I am always polite and respectful in the way I respond because you never know when those opportunities will come up and you never know where people will appear again.

I recommend building a relationship with your recruiter, so you can build that trust element and understand if this is the right recruiter for you. So, responding and saying you’re not looking right now, but maybe to catch up for a coffee or have a meet so they can understand you and your role.

9) Why do you think managing your personal brand is important for both those actively looking for a role and those that aren’t, and how can this be done if you’re busy and don’t have much time?

Now, anything worth doing takes time so it’s important to know where to focus that time. Managing your online brand helps with your professional development. It also helps with business opportunities both internally and externally for your business and it helps your own career progression.

To save time in doing this, it’s easy to join groups on LinkedIn so you’re kept up to date with information and what’s happening. But as I said, simple things like keeping your profile up to date is one of the easiest ways that you can manage that, looking at news articles as well as following big companies like Hays. We post lots of content all the time, so you can share any of the content that we post.

Your personal brand is who you are, so you want to make sure that you’re always putting your best foot forward when it comes to your personal brand. For example, I do a fair few talks on online branding and social media and it’s a big part of networking and building my online brand and who I am, and I’ve been asked for some great opportunities to speak at different events and women in sport and getting us women out there. Once I did that I got three job opportunities after that. And again, I’m not currently looking, I’m emphasising that in case my boss is listening but the opportunities you never know when they are going to be knocking on your door and they could be for anything.

10) Now we’ve been over what job seekers should do on social media, but we haven’t been over what they shouldn’t do. So, in your experience, what would you say are the three most common social media mistakes that you’d recommend our listeners avoid?

The first one is quite simple, your picture. We’re all people, we judge quite quickly, so you want to make sure that your picture is professional, no selfies or anything in the mirror.

The next thing is one of the worst thing is to do is do nothing. You must make sure that your social media brand is on point – a really easy way to do that is to Google yourself and then click on images and make sure they’re all professional images, which leads on to my final point of lock your personal profiles down.

So, make sure that your personal and your professional profiles are kept separately and again, you want to make sure that you have your work and personal life separate.

11) Now as we’ve discussed, social media has become an important job searching tool. Do you think this will continue as I imagine it will and if so, what changes do you foresee that job seekers need to be aware of when searching for a new job in the future?

Our online persona is more important than ever before and I’m sure all of you are aware that people can find out anything these days. So, be very careful with what you put online and remember that with the opinions you put out there, if you’re representing your business, they represent your business’s point of view so keep that in mind.

But the future’s becoming more and more digital and it’s quite interesting because even though we’re becoming more digital and focused on social media, we want that human touch and we want to get to know each other even more. We love the fact that we can look at a celebrity’s life on Instagram and get to know what’s happening. It builds that persona and lets us into what’s really happening.

So again, make sure you’re focusing on putting the best foot forward when it comes to your online brand.

12) Now I’m sure you’ve listened to the podcast, so you probably know what question is coming next. This is a question that we ask all our guests and that is if you could give one piece of careers advice to our listeners, what would that be?

Take a chance and bet on yourself. You’re not going to be able to do every aspect of your job, but sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and just go, yes, I’m going to give it a go, because you never know what could happen.

Thank you for reading. For more useful advice and insights about the world of work, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.