Create a Hashtag Strategy for Job Search

manage online presenceHashtags are comprised of the pound symbol (#) and descriptive word(s) strung together without spaces.  Examples of hashtags are: #PhotoOfTheDay or #PlutoFlyby. Hashtags can be added to photos or comments posted on social media sites.

When a comment or picture has been tagged with a broad (#Olympics) or narrow (#2016OlympicFencing) hashtag, the hashtag can be used to search for content tagged with the same hashtag.  Hashtags can also be used to organize and connect groups of people within online communities.  Hashtags generally go at the end of the post, but they can start a post as well.

Hashtags can be used in job search to network with professional groups and to create proof of performance.  Developing a hashtag strategy can help get your posts in front of the right people. When using hashtags in a job search, effective hashtags describe the content and audiences you wish to attract (Herman, 2013; 2014).

You can begin developing a hashtag strategy by doing a google search on key hashtags by industry to come up with ideas. For instance, a search on hashtags in the healthcare field include things like #healthcare, #nurse, and #NursingStudent.  You could use these with a picture of you attending a nursing class.

Here are some pointers for creating effective hashtags (Herman, 2013; 2014)

  • Keep hashtags relevant to the photos, tweets or information you post. Use hashtags to describe the content or how it fits with your job search (i.e. #chef; #landscaper; #teacher).
  • Use more than one hashtag to increase chances the photo, tweet, or post gets viewed, but don’t use too many hashtags because they can become distracting (5 to 10 hashtags per post is adequate).
  • Use industry related hashtags.
  • Keep your audience in mind. If you want foodies to look at your photo or tweet, use words like #gourmet and #chef.
  • Don’t misuse hashtags to attract viewers, such as tagging a post with a trending hashtag.
  • Use brand specific hashtags such as your name, business name, occupation, or skill (i.e. #landscaper; #dancer, or #JaneDoeChef).
  • Use industry related hashtags. For instance, if you are interested in working at a hotel you might use hashtags like #tourism or #hotels or #hospitality.
  • Combine broad or general hashtags with more narrow or specific hashtags to optimize visibility (i.e. #hairdresser and #WeddingHair).
  • Create lists of hashtags sorted by topic that you can easily cut and paste into your posts.

NOTE: What is the difference between “tags” and “hashtags”?

Tags are used in a blog platform to sort content. For example, if you posted about a delicious pizza you made, you would tag your blog post with the descriptor “pizza”.  Readers could then click on the descriptor “pizza” and find all the posts on your blog about pizza. Generally, the tags are listed at the bottom of each blog post.

If you wanted to promote your blog about pizza, you could post a comment or picture on social media of the pizza you made and include the hashtag #pizza in the description.


Herman, J. (June 10, 2013). How and when to use hashtags on Instagram. Retrieved from:

Herman, J. (May 19, 2014). How to create a hashtag strategy on Instagram. Retrieved from: