Instagram is a free online photo sharing platform. Members can share photos with other Instagram users and to other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, members can add hashtags to photos to highlight specific content, attract an audience, or link with specific industries (Herman, 2014).
Posting images to Instagram can be a valuable tool for job seekers and is uniquely valuable for people in the creative industries. It can advertise a job seekers skill set by creating a personal brand and demonstrating proof of performance. For example, landscapers can showcase before and after pictures of a front yard; hairdressers can demonstrate their recent transformations; and photographers/illustrators can display examples of their recent work.
Instagram can also optimize a job seeker’s efforts regardless of their chosen industry, by helping them generate job leads and attention. For example:
- Employers like to see well-rounded employees. Having a polished Instagram account can help create a positive online presence (Herman, 2016).
- Job seekers can use hashtags that are popular in their industry to generate attention (Carlott, 2014). For example, a job seeker interested in working in event planning might post a picture of a table setting they designed with a hashtag of the company they would like to work for.
- Job seekers can tag a company they want to work for in posts that include relevant content to the company or candidate’s skills.
Instagram can also be used to learn about potential employers. Many companies have Instagram accounts and job seekers who connect with companies online may have an advantage when it comes time for the interview (Frost, 2016). Following a company’s Instagram account gives an interviewee valuable insight into a company’s culture that can help them stand out from the crowd during an interview.
As always, make sure your posts reflect you in a positive light. If you already have an Instagram account full of selfies and pictures of your cat, consider creating a second professional account. Also, choose a user name that is close to your real name and something that highlights your abilities if your real name is not available. For example, if jane_doe isn’t available use JaneDoe_Chef.
Carlotti, P. (April 3, 2014). How to use Instagram to land a job or internship. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-instagram-can-get-you-ahead-of-the-competition-to-land-the-job
Frost, A. (February, 2016). How Instagram can get you ahead of the competition to land the job. Retrieved from: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-instagram-can-get-you-ahead-of-the-competition-to-land-the-job
Herman, L. (February, 2016). How Instagram can land you a job. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-instagram-can-land-you-the-job