How to optimize your social media presence for the job search

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Enrolling in a Master’s in Health Law and Policy program is an excellent first step to a career in this field. Beyond joining professional organizations, pursuing internships and networking with experts, another way to boost your chances of landing a job in this industry is to consider your online social media presence.


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According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, up 10 percent since 2016. Being selective about the content a third party can see on your accounts can make a bigger impact than you think. Here are some statistics on the major reasons employers have turned potential candidates down:

  • 39 percent reported finding inappropriate pictures, videos and other information
  • 38 percent found information about candidates drinking or using drugs
  • 32 percent saw candidates making discriminatory comments
  • 30 percent found candidates bad-mouthing their previous employer
  • 27 percent of denied candidates lied about their qualifications

Some of the other reasons employers were turned off by candidates included poor communication skills (27 percent), criminal behavior (26 percent), the sharing of confidential information of a previous employer (23 percent), an unprofessional screen name (22 percent) and posting too frequently (17 percent.)

The last thing you want to do is diminish your standing in the running for a dream job due to poor use of social media. Here are a few ways to optimize your online presence while searching for a job:

Start from scratch

First and foremost, comb through your social media accounts and take down anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to find. This includes inappropriate pictures and videos, offensive comments and status updates and anything else you think could inhibit you from obtaining a professional position. Remember: There’s no definitive time past which the employer will stop searching — someone could look years back into your social media presence and find something undesirable. Dedicate an entire day to auditing your accounts to ensure they’re professional from an employer’s perspective.


Complete your profiles

Those biography and ‘about me’ sections on your profiles may have seemed optional or irrelevant in the past, but The Muse said it best: “If your profiles aren’t complete, they’re not as effective as they could be.” Use these areas on each platform to describe your personality, hobbies, areas of expertise and professional accomplishments to showcase how valuable you can be to a company. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have minimal space to describe yourself, so keep it short and sweet with hobbies and interests. Use your LinkedIn profile to lay out your professional biography with all of your awards, academic accomplishments and work experience.


Create a personal website

While your LinkedIn page can display all of the comprehensive details about your experience as a professional, it’s not necessarily the most creative option. Certainly, it’s important to maintain this page as it’s a great place for networking and talking to other professionals in the industry, but you may want to create something that sets you apart from other potential candidates. Your own personal website can be the edge you need to get the job.

Here, you can bring your resume to life by uploading your portfolio and all of your business projects. Health Law and Policy students from Hofstra Law can also showcase their capstone projects here. Creating your own personal professional website gives you the freedom to express your personality while boosting your social presence for the next journey in your career.


Add social media links to your email signature

Think about all of the emails you send throughout your job search. Between applying for the position, responding to a potential employer or catching up with a colleague, there’s a great opportunity to share your social media accounts in your email signature. Using this feature to promote your online presence is the easiest way to highlight and optimize your social media profiles if an employer is interested in learning more about you. Be sure to link to your LinkedIn account, Facebook profile, Twitter and even your personal website or blog.


How can Hofstra Law students take advantage of social media?

According to the CareerBuilder survey, 3 in 10 employers have reported dedicating time to searching for a candidate’s online persona and getting to know him or her via social media. “Social recruiting” is alive and well, so it may be wise to explore social media platforms as a way to share more industry news and work-related content rather than simply personal events. Here are some of the factors employers are looking for when browsing your social media accounts:

  • 61 percent reported searching for any evidence that shows you’re qualified for the position.
  • 50 percent said they’re checking to see if you have any online persona to begin with.
  • 37 percent are looking at what others are posting about you.
  • 24 percent are searching for reasons not to hire you.

As a health law and policy student, you may consider sharing articles on recent legislation and medical trends. Get involved in local networking groups and volunteer at a health care center, law firm or courthouse and share about your experiences. This will help you build a professional online presence and make you more approachable and valuable to potential employers.

Social media is only going to become more relevant and important in the future. Use it to your advantage and stick to posting pictures and information that you would be proud to share with your family or even a future employer. Remember: It’s never a bad idea to share your professional accomplishments via social media; it’s a great way to impress your close acquaintances and recruiters.

Enrolling in courses in the online Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy or Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy program at Hofstra Law is another milestone worth sharing on social media. Throughout the program, you’ll gain valuable skills and access to resources that serve as great content and highlight points on your profile.  Visit the program page to find out more about our online Master’s in Health Law and Policy. You’ll find some social-worthy articles, infographics and other resources to get you started too.



Recommended Readings:

What are the benefits of attending Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University?

Why you should consider an online degree



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