How social media can be used to progress careers and support the job search

Instant Offices’ head of HR, Helen Taylor, explains how recruiters use social media to analyse job applicants, and gives some do’s and don’ts for social media when searching for your next big break.

What is acceptable on your profiles is dependent on the industry in which you work. Applying for a job in a creative industry is very different to looking for work in a corporate environment. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your profiles are appropriate for your industry and don’t contradict your CV.


As a professional network, LinkedIn is extremely important for networking and showcasing your strengths.

When hiring, recruiters look at an applicant’s LinkedIn for several reasons:

  • Any uncertainties in a CV, for example how long someone has worked at a company can be cleared up by LinkedIn, so make sure it is up to date and accurate.
  • To see who has recommended or endorsed an applicant. It is a good way to see who they associate with.
  • To view past projects and achievements in your field. Updating your statuses with industry relevant news, self-published articles as well as company updates all show your enthusiasm and interest in your field.
If there is a negative comment on LinkedIn, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost. Recruiters know that it is just one person’s opinion and not necessarily representative of your working style.

For these reasons, it is important to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Many people use LinkedIn only when they are looking for new jobs, but a relevant profile can help when attracting clients too.

Read more on recruitment:

What not to do on social media

As the digital world has evolved, so has the way in which employers recruit. Companies can now effortlessly investigate what a potential candidate is like in their social surroundings and even whether their personality fits the company.

Passive aggressive memes and posts about your current position are a no-go. They may be funny and might gain a like or two, but they reflect badly on both you and the company you work for. If you are insinuating that you work in a negative environment, you are likely to offend your colleagues and will, of course, put off potential employers.

People often forget that your profiles are out there for the world to see and that your employer or a recruiter can easily look you up on social media with just one click and that there are consequences that can come with that.

Remember that while social media is great for sharing yourself with the world, it is also a way of building your personal brand. Be the ideal applicant online and finding the perfect position will become that much simpler

Helen Taylor, is the head of HR at The Instant Group, which sources flexible property solutions for over 7,000 businesses. Its team of experts find, create and manage workspaces that help clients grow and thrive. The firm has offices in London, Berlin, Dallas, New York and Sydney.

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