I knew that hiring managers would probably look at my social media sites before hiring me, but I didn’t know that job candidates could have a lasting impression based on their social media. To me, this seemed like something you would look at if you were an influencer, marketer or you were being hired for a job related to social media marketing. These roles or similar jobs seem like the only time where it’s appropriate to hire someone partially based on their social media posts and followers.
When my mom told me the marketing department for the company she works at decided to go with one candidate over another due to her following on Instagram, I was shocked — especially because it was for a digital marketing specialist role. Maybe it proved that she was able to attract an audience and establish her own personal brand, but I was taught that the main reason for hiring managers to skim through your social media sites was to make sure the person on your resume somewhat matched the person you choose to show to the world.
I think it’s important to keep up with social media to an extent. But “How much should I keep up with social media?” was a question I found out the hard way … during a job interview. Yes, social media was brought up for a third of my job interview time. It was then that I realized how important one’s knowledge of social media sites could be, especially for a job in digital marketing or any marketing job. In this case, it was for a content marketing internship at Terakeet. The interviewer asked what three influencers I felt were doing well on Instagram, why I liked them, what they do, etc. I wasn’t prepared to come up with three influencers off the top of my head, so I listed one influencer, and two well-known celebrities and answered the remaining questions regarding influencers with a bunch of um’s as I scrambled for answers my brain couldn’t provide at the moment. It was safe to say that I didn’t get the internship, but I learned the importance of utilizing social media as a tool, not entirely as something to do for fun.
I’m in a digital marketing class where there is a week scheduled to focus on improving our LinkedIn. An IMC student had said she got rid of her LinkedIn account. She expressed that she didn’t like it nor had an interest in creating another account because it made her compare herself to other students on the site. I completely understood that LinkedIn can feel overwhelming at times. Much like Instagram, you’re seeing the highlight reels of your peers and it can feel a bit competitive, and for some, it’s an unhealthy way to spend their time.
That being said, I do keep up with trends on Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok. I think it’s very important for students interested in social media marketing to know the trends and marketing tools commonly used in this field as this knowledge can be shown on our resumes or used in a portfolio. It’s also important for us to acknowledge that when applying for a job, social media sites are open and available for hiring managers to look through and the main control that we have over this is to either make the social media account private or not have one at all.
We can also be more prepared as students at Ithaca College by taking the time on assignments that some professors give us to work on or even creating our own LinkedIn accounts more seriously. I think that it’s a great opportunity to use class homework as a way to improve our professional profiles, especially a LinkedIn page because it can provide students an easy place to connect to companies, individuals, and even alumni who, for the most part, are more than happy to talk with fellow students and even help them out with their job applications.