Let me be the first to admit I am a painfully slow adopter of social media. My thoughts aside, social media is here to stay. Not in its current forms necessarily since it seems to change as frequently as the weather but the notion of it is not going anywhere.
For a long time companies have used social media as a means of doing some investigation on potential hires and current employees.
People share things on their social media accounts they would never reveal to an employer or perspective employer yet, with a quick search, companies get this information at their fingertips.
I am seeing more and more companies I work with taking their organizations in to the social media frontier for their own uses as well. Company Facebook pages, LinkedIn landing pages, Twitter feeds, YouTube Channels, and more are becoming common place. Companies utilize these mediums for everything from community engagement to branding, marketing, advertising, and more.
What this means for jobseekers is that more information is available about companies than ever before. You can learn about them from their websites but some of what you see them share and post on social media is able to give you insights into their culture, values, and practices in ways nothing on a corporate web page can. Sure they are more calculated than the average person will be but the standards of what gets put on a social media account are more relaxed than those that govern corporate web pages. Using this less guarded source to do your research helps you in a few key ways:
- You can learn about a company to better understand if they align with you philosophies. Are they engaged with employees? Do they seem to have fun? Are they professional, relaxed, etc.? Are they involved in or passionate about any causes? If so, which ones? How do you feel about those?
- See how others are responding to them. Look at comments posted by other users. Who are they? What are they saying? Why?
- Get insight into a company’s interests. Knowing about them helps prepare you for the interviews and gives you talking points to build rapport and make connections.
When you head in to an interview it is all about being prepared. That preparation fosters confidence and a comfort level that will allow you to do your best and make the truest impression of yourself. Take advantage of the resources and information available to you and do not overlook the value of an organization’s social media platform when doing your preparation.