When looking for a new job, there are a number of ways to research a company. Online is the best way to start, and more often than not you will be referred to social media to support your search. That said, it’s not without its draw backs.
Here is my guide to the various social media sites you may come across, both good and bad.
Good: – It’s Big! There are between 10 and 11 million companies on LinkedIn so far and an even bigger number of employees on there too. This means you have access to a broad network and have the opportunity to see who is influential in the areas in which you work, but also with the opportunity to be seen by the people that matter.
Also the process of seeing and applying for jobs on LinkedIn is quite easy; it allows you to track your application process when you send your details out
Bad: – It’s easy to get lost in the crowd and surround yourself with connections that don’t add value to your network. I would never just rely on linked in for a job hunt – sometimes a personal / outside perspective helps. It’s also going to be a way for companies to promote how they want to be seen rather than how they really are. You wont have access to all employers and employees and you may find that if you use this as your only tool then you won’t get the chance to hear about confidential briefs with, for example, those every exciting smaller specialist companies that don’t like to advertise their jobs on there.
Good: – It’s a great place to get up to date information on the client you want to work for and jobs from both clients and agencies. It’s useful to see what they do and what they are talking about. Some industries expect you to be active on twitter and will ask you what your feed is called.
Bad: – If we have learned anything from the weird world of celebrity, it’s that your tweets will come back and haunt you – so it’s not always so good to mix the private and the professional. If you aren’t sure then just don’t! Companies can and will check your twitter feed if they use it themselves!
Good: – Again it’s big! Well enormous in fact, and although it’s known for being more of a social platform than a professional network, most companies have a Facebook presence. This will normally give you more information about the culture of the company so you can get a really good feel of what they value about their people.
Bad: – I suggest you think about the photos you have from 10 years ago that might not mirror who you are today! I 100% have a few that I need to delete, then delete again! And again companies can check Facebook so make sure your privacy settings are in place.
Good: – Companies share on Instagram all things social, and, let’s be honest, we all love dog photos. Its a great way for building a visual profile, and a powerful tool for building you as a brand.
Bad: – Again check your content, and its not really something to use as a means to communicate to an employer.
Good: – It’s a site designed for work seekers to share information. You get to see what some employees really think and it is a great place to prep for an interview as past interviewer can share their experiences there.
Bad: – This is 2 fold. Firstly its a bit like TripAdvisor, you only tend to get extremes – very good or very bad. Candidates who are generally happy at work don’t seem to review as much. Secondly there are very few checks in place to make sure that the comments are valid. I could easily review a company I have never worked for before and there is nothing the business can do about it. You don’t know if what your reading is accurate so this is a tool to support your job hunt not determine it. You would probably be better off checking out what is being said on google reviews.