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How to Leverage Social Media During a Job Search

How to Leverage Social Media During a Job Search

In our increasingly connected world, it’s no surprise that social media can aid you on your hunt for a job. There’s no need to go out and create all new profiles, though. Keep reading for some tips on how to leverage your social media during a job search.

The Importance of a Social Presence

According to a CareerBuilder survey published in August 2018, social media now has a significant role in the hiring process. Here are some of the key findings:

  • 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.
  • 57 percent of those who do research have found content that caused them not to hire a candidate.
  • 47 percent of employers said that if they can’t find a candidate online, they are less likely to extend an invitation for an interview.

The study also found that monitoring doesn’t stop once a job offer is extended. Forty eight percent of employers admitted that they use social media to research current employees and that 10 percent even do it daily. Just over a third of employers said that they have reprimanded or fired an employee based on content found online.

The bottom line: You need to be on social media and it is imperative to maintain a clean online record.

Using social media for employment

The Content that Matters to Employers

The CareerBuilder survey mentioned above also dug into what type of content employers wanted to find on a new hire when they searched for a candidate:

  • Background information that supports professional qualifications for the job. (37 percent)
  • Job candidate is creative. (34 percent)
  • Profiles convey a professional image. (33 percent)
  • Candidate is well-rounded and appears to have a wide-range of interests. (31 percent)
  • A good understanding of the candidate’s personality and ability to see a good fit within company culture. (31 percent)
  • Candidate has great communication skills. (28 percent)
  • Candidate has received awards. (26 percent)
  • Positive references on the candidate. (23 percent)
  • Candidate interacted with the company’s social media accounts. (22 percent)
  • Candidate posts compelling content. (21 percent)
  • Candidate has a large number of followers or subscribers. (18 percent)

The Social Giants (for Professionals)

Here are the top four social platforms for job seekers:


With more than half a billion professionals worldwide, LinkedIn is the ultimate networking tool for professionals. The site is considered the “professional” social network and provides business owners with recruitment and applicant tracking systems to make the hiring process run smoothly.


Facebook is the largest social network with over 2 billion members worldwide. If you’re a member of the baby boomer, Gen X or Millennial generations and you’re not on Facebook, you need to be.


Twitter is a sort of microblogging site that enables users to engage in public conversations. Tweet daily and demonstrate knowledge of your industry.


Use the Circles feature to connect with influential people and link all of your other online profiles together on this network.

Tips and Tricks

If you’re ready to leverage your social media to kick start your job search, here are a few tips to get you started:

1.      Create professional profiles.

The first step in using social media to find a job is to create relevant, professional profiles across different networks. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are great places to start. Include your job history, skills, what you’ve accomplished in past or current roles and what you believe you can offer to a future employer.

2.       Network.

If you’re not following others and no one is following you, social media is a very boring place. After creating your profile, networking is the next step. Search for groups in your industry and then participate in the conversation and introduce yourself to other members. You never know where those new connections will get you.

3.       Stay active.

Creating a perfect profile and then letting it sit won’t improve your chances of getting hired. The more you engage and interact with others on social media, the more likely you are to benefit from the resource. Follow businesses in your field, join the conversations about industry trends and help out others by answering questions, making introductions, and posting and sharing relevant content.

4.       Avoid looking desperate.

When you’re hidden behind a computer screen, it’s easy to feel more confident. However, asking people outright for a job over social media is still going to make you look desperate. Instead, make connections with the people you want to work with and for, post intelligent and relevant content and engage in conversations about the industry that demonstrate your knowledge.

5.       Perform job searches through social media.

These days, most people start their job search on sites like Indeed or Monster. Although they are great places to find job listings, it can be hard to stand out due to the high number of users. Most people don’t think about searching for jobs on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but they’re actually great resources!

Big Names in Biotech

Social media is still a relatively new area for biotech companies to be in, but there are a few companies who are thriving. Once you’ve created your professional profiles, following them is a pretty good place to start.

1.       Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim’s goal is to improve the health and quality of patients’ lives through innovative therapies. Their social media strategy is led by two millennial women who developed an engaging presence on Twitter that gained significant media attention, including a case study by Twitter, highlighting it as good business practice.

2.       Novartis

Novartis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and they have an impressive social media following to match. They are known for conducting interviews via Twitter, known as “twitterviews” to encourage engagement and also for their patient stories about the diseases they work to cure.

3.       Merck & Co.

Merck is another one of the largest biotech companies in the world and is known for their focus on innovative medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The company joined the social world in 2011 and has since stuck to a safe, corporate feel for their posts. However, their Merck for Mothers pages, which shares their fight to end preventable maternal deaths, has a more conversational tone and is thriving.

4.        Amgen

Amgen’s commitment is to unlock “the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics.” They use social media to celebrate the people who have used and benefited from their products in a caring and proud way. With almost 75 thousand followers on Twitter, it seems to have paid off.

If you’re thinking about leaving your current position or just starting your career, polishing up your social media presence is a great place to start before embarking on the hunt for a new job.

How to Get Past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

How to Get Past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

If you’re here, you’re probably on the hunt for a job. And if you’re on the hunt for a job, there’s a secret you should know: according to a study by CareerArc, “Almost 40 percent of employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates for job openings.” Alarmingly, “62 percent of employers who use this software admit that some qualified candidates are likely being filtered out of the vetting process by mistake.”

The name Applicant Tracking System is somewhat misleading. ATS doesn’t track your application status or where you are in the recruitment process. Instead, the purpose of these systems is to sift through resumes, separating the “strong” candidates from the “weak.” This ultimately saves companies valuable time and manpower.

It is estimated that ATS reject 70 percent or more of the resumes submitted because (1) the documents don’t reflect the desired job qualifications and/or (2) are formatted in a way that doesn’t make sense to the system. This means that your resume could be rejected solely based on the formatting and word choice, rather than the information and experience it contains.

applicant tracking graph

Companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries are most certainly using this software, which means that you’re going to have to do more than follow the basics for crafting a professional resume. That’s why spending time to carefully format and compose your resume can increase your chances of moving past this initial screening process. So, we put together a list of tips to help you beat the system and increase your chances of getting an interview:

Keep it simple.

Although Applicant Tracking Systems are becoming more advanced every year, they still have limitations. Most systems can’t read tables or non-standard resume sections like “What I’ve Done” vs “Work Experience,” so it’s best to keep formatting and word choice simple and traditional. Microsoft Word documents are the safest file option, however, many systems will tell you what other file types are compatible.

Your font may also be working against you. Some ATS have trouble reading serif fonts like Times New Roman or Cambria—serif fonts have little marks or “feet” on the ends of the letters, sans serif fonts do not. Play it safe and use Calibri or a similar sans serif font.

Resume SEO matters.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is what writers, marketers and website designers use to move their content up in search engine rankings. SEO is important in applicant tracking systems, too. Experts recommend rewriting your resume every time you apply for a new job and incorporating keywords from the job posting’s expected duties, responsibilities and skills sections. Those keywords are what the ATS uses to assess your resume.

However, not just any keyword will do. Applicant Tracking Systems will only find what they’ve been told to look for—a list of keywords from the hiring manager. So you need to use the exact same keywords and punctuation found in the job description. For example, some systems can’t distinguish between front-end and front end, or Master of Business Administration, Masters of Business Administration and MBA.

Don’t overdo it.

If SEO matters, adding in tons of extra keywords is a good idea, right?


There is a fine line between resume keyword optimization and “keyword stuffing” and overdoing it will likely cause the ATS to red flag your resume and sort it into the “weak” pile. If your resume does happen to get through the ATS and in front of a human being, it probably won’t land you an interview. Overdone resumes are often poorly written and tend to sound awkward, which won’t impress the recruiter.

Play it safe and follow the general rule of thumb, which is to use a keyword two to three times.

Previous job titles should mirror the company you’re applying to.

This one may feel wrong, but stick with us for a second while we explain…

Your job title matters in an applicant tracking system (remember SEO keywords?) and small changes can make a huge difference. Professional resume writers fine-tune job titles all the time to fit the position their client is applying for.

Consider this example: Your current title is Business Advisor, but at the company you’re applying to, the comparable position is called Business Consultant. Tweaking your title to fit the new company can make a world of difference when your resume is processed by the ATS.

Keep it human.

Congratulations! You optimized your resume and you were flagged as a strong candidate by the ATS. Now your resume will be reviewed by a real person. Keep this in mind when you are writing your resume and ensure that it will impress a human reader who knows proper grammar and not just computer software.

Optimizing a resume to impress an applicant tracking system and a human requires careful planning, but the time invested is well worth it when you land that dream job. If you are concerned about how your resume will perform in an Applicant Tracking System, check out this handy tool from Jobscan.