Social Media: Will it help you sink or swim in your job search?

I know that many, if not all of us, use or have used social media for fun. It’s a part of our daily routine – sitting in front of the computer, checking Facebook status updates and friend requests, keeping track of new followers on Twitter.  As it turns out, though, social media is now being used for greater things than just chatting with buddies.

More and more people are making the social media connection, turning these social websites into networking tools. Over the past three years at Sodexo, we’ve even hired people that we connected with via social media.

Getting Started Checklist

  • First, remember that companies want to find you. Use this medium to be found.
  • Make it easy for companies to find you. Post profiles on several different sites. Facebook is great, LinkedIn is even better, but do not discount Twitter.
  • Create positive first impressions with Google and LinkedIn profiles.
  • Make your profile professional – leave the personal stuff out.
  • List your job qualifications.
  • Join professional groups on LinkedIn and start networking.
  • Read discussions on corporate Facebook and LinkedIn pages, follow corporate Twitter accounts. Discover and identify the decision makers.
  • Introduce yourself to others and include a link to your profile so they can learn more about you quickly, without having to search for the information. Make it easy for others to learn about your skills. Also, be sure to follow-up after a few days if you have not had any conversation.
  • Have conversations that will be memorable (i.e. when posting updates, make sure that it is okay for a potential employer to see it).
  • Consistently update your profile as things change.
  • Use your mobile phone! For example, create a mobile business card, keep up with Twitter posts and connect with LinkedIn contacts when you’re on the go.

Personal vs. Professional

  • Be selective as to who you allow to be your Facebook friend and who you follow on Twitter. Remember that everything you post – and everything your friends post – is public.
  • Consider having two profiles set up on each site, one for personal use and another for professional use. For example, have a Facebook page for friends and family, but set up a separate account for professional networking. Remember to set your privacy settings accordingly, so that your personal account remains private.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Placing photos that are questionable on your profile. Prospective employers don’t want to see photos of you from the party last Friday night or snarky comments you posted on Twitter.
  • Using non-professional words or slang language in your status updates.
  • Discussing inappropriate issues on the discussion boards. Remember the world is watching everything you post.
  • Confusing your pages and sharing personal information on your professional profile pages.
  • Making a contact and never following up with that contact.

The most important thing to remember is that you are the brand that you are trying to get noticed. Make sure that everything that is in print about you is what you want the world to see. Many companies like Sodexo will network with you and work with you to land that great job. Learn all the ways Sodexo is ready to network with you here.

See you around the social networking scene!


Derren is the Manager, Diversity Recruiting for Sodexo which is a leader in integrated food service and facilities management. He is responsible for managing the Sodexo Future Leaders Internship Program as well as executing diversity sourcing initiatives for both campus and targeted experienced hires. With over 14+ years of experience with Sodexo, Derren has had great success as a General Manager in the company’s Health Care Services division as well as in several positions within their Talent Acquisition Group. He’s an active corporate partner with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH). Derren is an AIRS Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR).

Related posts:

  1. Leveraging Social Media in Your Job Search
  2. Social Media 101: Facebook and Job Hunting
  3. Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for the Job Seeker

4 Responses to “Social Media: Will it help you sink or swim in your job search?”

  1. Thanks Derren! I think that these are some great rules to abide by when considering using social media for your professional career.

  2. avatar Tarah Cotton says:

    Everything you say is so true. It’s just hard to let go of the recreational usage of social websites. I guess it’s a part of growing up and being a professional.

  3. Very Insightful. Social Media is a great way to market yourself to large groups of people at all times. These online networking companies have given us this very useful tool at our own disposal. If we use these networking sites in a current, efficiant, and professional matter, then they will be largely beneficial for people on a job search.

  4. avatar Jay Taylor says:

    Thanks Derren! I know I’ve told you this before but my personal feeling on professional vs. private social media presence is that the mere existence of a private profile suggests the existence of things you don’t want your professional contacts to know about you. I’ve embraced the idea that if you don’t want employers/grandparents/etc to see it it shouldn’t be there at all, professional OR private. I have my privacy settings pretty loose (friends can see anything, others can see my contact info) and I believe that it shows potential employers and contacts that I have nothing to hide. I think that says more about my personality and professionalism than the alternative, even if it doesn’t appear as “polished” as someone’s professional social media pages might.

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