Career Advice – How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage in the Interview Process

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In the digital world we live in, things are constantly changing… and fast! With social media becoming increasingly important in our personal lives, it is truly starting to change so many different aspects of our day-to-day, including our professional lives too. Social media is changing so many industries in so many different ways, and the fashion industry is definitely no exception. In order to keep up with the evolving landscape, it’s about time that we start using social media to our advantage- beginning with the interview process!

Personal Marketing

People are always saying “be careful what you put on the internet,” and for good reason! These days, you never know just who will end up scrolling through your posts, so it’s always best to play it safe and keep things professional before you hit the share button. That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun, and it definitely does not mean that you can’t be yourself on social media. In fact, the very best thing you can do is just that! Your social profiles should showcase who you are, what you do, and why you love doing it. As you already know, we are living in a world that revolves around technology and social media, and that doesn’t just exist from 9-5. Employers are using social media more and more to get to know candidates, and to dig deeper in finding the right fit for their next hire. For this reason, you can (and should!) use your Instagram profile, Facebook page, and twitter account to your advantage when it comes to putting yourself out there on the job market. Think of your social profiles as a live portfolio, that displays your work and showcases your passion in real time. Social media is also a great way to build your personal brand, and market yourself as a desirable employee. The photos, stories, and messages you share allow you to show off your strengths, values, talents, and interests. Even the simple things like your bio and profile picture can speak volumes to who you are as an employee, and valuable member of the industry. So next time you go to post something on the ‘gram, don’t forget to ask yourself “does this represent my personal brand?”

Company Research 

Don’t forget that things work both ways in this crazy world of social media. Just as you’re thinking about the things you’re sharing on the internet, so are the brands and companies that you want to work for. When starting the job hunt, a great place to start (believe it or not) is your social feeds. A company’s various online profiles can give you instant insight, not only into the aesthetic and overall vibe of the brand, but often times what they stand for, their story, and their position within the industry. Social media may help you to decipher if they are the right fit for you, and if they offer the type of environment you’re looking for in a job. When preparing for an interview, heading to the company’s profiles will help you set the tone for what they may be looking for in a candidate in terms of values, goals, and culture fit. It will also give you a leg up on their current campaigns, articles, media mentions, and projects, which could lead to a great conversation topic, or interesting question to ask the interviewer. This will show that you took the time to do your research, and that you truly care about what is happening within the company. A quick five to ten minutes scrolling through a company’s social media can really help you to explore whether or not the company could be a good fit for you, and could also make or break the interview!

Connecting With Key People

Some may call it “cyber stalking,” but really it can be considered valuable research. When writing an application for a new position, it’s always best to address your message directly to the hiring manager or department lead. Sometimes the company website won’t give you all the contacts you may need, but with a little digging through social media, you may just be able to put a name to a title. Once you’re in contact with the hiring team for a prospective job, it can be helpful to research the people you’re connecting with. Without being creepy, it can be nice to preface an interview with a little background about who may be sitting across the table from you. On the other side of things, if you’re having a tough time breaking into the hiring scene, social media can be a great tool for networking. Get social with key leaders in the industry, by exploring your contacts and who they are connected with, and following along with people who inspire you in the industry. It is definitely important to maintain some boundaries between work and play when it comes to social media, but don’t be afraid to slide into someone’s DM’s, or drop a comment (professionally, of course) as a way to start a conversation, and spark a new meaningful connection. Hey- for all you know, it could just lead to the interview for your next job!

At the end of the day, social media often has a bad reputation for being a bit intrusive and sometimes even a little scary, but by switching your mindset and adding little intention behind your posts, you truly can use social media to your advantage in landing your dream job!

Inspo photo: By Viktor Hanacek

By: Heather Murray @heatherungraceful

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