When you think of using social media in your job search, the first thing that probably comes to mind is LinkedIn.
While your gut instinct is correct—LinkedIn is a powerful platform for job seekers—chances are you’re under-utilizing the power of Instagram to help you land a job that’s great for you.
Also on Mediabistro
Next time you’re about to pose for your latest selfie, take a beat to consider how you can leverage both your Instagram account, as well as any given brand’s IG page to get your next job.
Here are some of the ways you can use Instagram to in your job search:
What’s one of the biggest complaints from hiring managers about job seekers? That they aren’t prepared when they walk into an interview.
Scanning the Internet for news about a company and searching through its website are both key ways of researching a brand, but scroll through a company’s Instagram page, and you’ll get real insight into the company culture.
Take note of who is working there, what the office space is like, how the teams collaborate, how successes are celebrated, and come into your interview understanding how a company is using its Instagram profile to share the company’s story with its audience.
Plus, many brands will share open positions on their social profiles before they even make it to a job board! Follow a brand you dream of working for and you might just beat the competition to the application.
Your Instagram profile should tell a story—your story! A candidate who has no digital footprint is a big red flag, so go ahead and make your profile public to share your personal story with your friends, family and recruiters alike.
Use your Instagram page as another professional platform, one that is less formal, and more personal. Employers love candidates who are passionate. Are you a total yogi? Start gramming your downward dog. Love entertaining? Share that latest pasta dish your friends were obsessed with.
What not to share on your IG? Avoid Instagramming sloppy Saturday nights, controversial opinions and pretty much anything else you wouldn’t want your mom (or prospective boss) to see.
Do you have a dream company you’d love to work for? Go ahead and click “follow” on its Instagram page!
Companies want to hire people who want to work for their brand, not just any company who will offer them a position. How can you show companies that theirs is the one you truly want to work for? Engage with their social media! Like their photos, participate in contests and integrate yourself into their social story.
Another way to engage with a brand: hashtags. Tag your relevant photos with hashtags brands use as a way to involve yourself in their social conversation and affiliate you and your IG profile with their industry.
Many companies are brought to social media fame via their influencer employees. Is there a magazine you want to write for? Start following its editor in chief. Dying to join a designer’s social team? Start commenting on its marketing director’s #OOTD pics.
Walking into an interview familiar with the team you want to work for shows that you took the time to research not only what a brand does, but who produces the work you’re such a huge fan of. Plus, many influencers love to engage with their fans! Take their Instagram feed as a way to introduce yourself and communicate—in a professional way, not a stalker way—with your potential new boss.
Is your creative side your best side? You should think of your Instagram profile as an extension of your portfolio. Upload that ad campaign you designed, or take a screenshot of that tweet you published that received over 100 retweets. You never know who will come across your profile, so put your best foot, and best work, out there for hiring managers to find!
Follow Mediabistro on Instagram for a daily dose of career inspiration, BTS, job search humor, and more.