Using Instagram to Find Employment

Many companies are taking advantage of Instagram as an additional way to market their brand and improve their image. This positions Instagram as another platform for job seekers to advertise their skills and abilities to help catch the eye of an employer.

Create a Professional Presence

The first step when using Instagram in your job search is to brand yourself and improve your profile for potential employers.  You can do this by creating a Business Instagram Profile.

Like many other social media platforms, Instagram makes it easy to create separate personal and business accounts. If you already have an Instagram account, go to your settings and select “add account”. From there you can create a new account and designate it as a business account.

When creating a user name for your business account, try to be as descriptive and professional as possible. For example, if you are looking for a job in the technology field, your designated user name could be J.Johnson_IT or Johnson_WebDeveloper.

Once you’ve created your profile it is important to include a brief bio about what you do. This should, at the very least, include your profession, your location, and a link to your personal website or LinkedIn page.

Header for "codergirl" which describes her as a software engineer

After creating your business Instagram account it is time to create a professional presence. You can do this by creating engaging content. On your professional account, post pictures that are career oriented and highlight the work you do intermixed with posts about your personal passions and accomplishments.  All business Instagram accounts are public so keep your posts as “PG” as possible.  Some ideas for posting on Instagram include pictures of you working, demonstrating the skills you have, attending work events, and accomplishing personal goals. You might also consider posting the occasional inspirational quote or words of wisdom.

If you are looking for a job in technology, you might post:

Pictures of you working in front of a computer:

Photo of woman workin gon a computer with the text: codergirl_ easing into Monday coding like a (happy face icon). Also testing my ability to code without a #masterthyIDE #andshortcuts"

Pictures of you demonstrating your skills:

Social media post of a man working on computer

Content on the companies you worked for and events you attended:

Social media post with a picture of people swinging croquet mallets with the caption: Four weeks as an offical Oracle employee in the books! Celebrating with the team - croquet, delish food and roasting marchmallows on the ocean! Trading #startuplife for #corporatelife isn't so bad. #lifeatoracle

Advice and motivational quotes that relate to your industry:

Social media post of quote "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have" - Maya Angelou

Pictures of you accomplishing your personal goals:

Social media post of people crossing a finish line with the hashtag personalgoals.

Networking with Companies and Preparing for the Interview

Once you’ve created a professional presence on Instagram, you want to reach employers you are interested in working for. You can do this by following companies, using tags and hashtags, commenting on posts, and direct messaging

Follow Target Companies: Start by making a list of companies you would like to work for and then use Instagram’s search function to find their profile. Keep in mind, not all companies have an Instagram account. If they do not have an Instagram account, consider searching for the company’s leadership and following them.

Searching for a company on Instagram will result in their profile appearing as well as any other references to the company on Instagram. Some large companies have more than one Instagram account. For example, Google has at least four Instagram handles including: “google,” “lifeatgoogle,” “googleartsandculture” and “googlestudent.”

Commenting: Following target companies is only the beginning of interacting online. You can start by liking pictures, but also post insightful comments on a company’s page or asking questions of other commenters.  You never know when you might draw the attention of your company.

Screen shot of someone commenting on Facebook post: I have a very similar story! But I love these stories. So powerful and beautiful. Facebook replied: Thanks for following us. We look forward to sharing more with our community.

Tag and HashtagYou can tag a company in your posts by using the @ symbol followed by their user name. Just be sure the post is relevant to the company.  This is a great way to highlight your personal brand, unique skills, and your interest in the industry. You may also choose to post a picture of yourself using a company’s product with a complimentary caption. However, be cautious when tagging companies and brands. You want your posts to look as natural as possible.

Hashtags are another great way to draw attention to your pictures. Use the same hashtags the company is using. To find which hashtags your target companies use, look at their posts, take an inventory of the ones they use, and identify a few that fit with your posts. Only use a few hashtags at a time to avoid the “too many hashtags look.”

Preparing for the Interview

Congratulations! You’ve done all of the heavy lifting! You created engaging content, you used all the hashtags and tagged all of your target companies, and now you landed an interview for your dream job. But, the work doesn’t stop there. Preparing for the interview will help you ace it and Instagram is a great tool for learning more about company culture.  Many large companies have Instagram accounts dedicated to documenting their company’s values; Google has “lifeatgoogle”, Walmart has, “walmartcareers” and Facebook has “facebooklife.” Learning more about the company and incorporating what you learned into the interview is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

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