Your Job Search & Social Media

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Before the birth of the Internet, many businesses would vet potential employees by referring to your CV and carrying out a reference check. While this procedure is still commonplace, with some amendments put in place depending on the role being applied for. Modern-day employers have access to a lot more information, mostly due to the popularity of social networking.

Isn’t My Social Network Private?

Of course, there are privacy settings in place that help people control who sees what when they make a post, but life on the Internet is very rarely private. In fact, a recent survey found that over 52% of employers search for a candidate’s social network page before making a decision as to whether they should be hired or not. So which social network is searched the most? Well, the following stats should give you an idea of just how thorough some recruiters can be when assessing potential employees:

  • LinkedIn: 92%
  • Facebook: 66%
  • Twitter: 52%
  • Google: 21%

As you can imagine, there are a series of red flags that will make you a less attractive applicant. These include posts containing content with profanity, sexual contact as well as bad grammar. As you can see, potential employers can build a better overall profile of you as a person, so it pays to monitor what you post via social networking.

What Should I Post on Social Networks?

Social networks allow people to share their identity as well as their interests, so no-one should ever conform to making their social network pages business-orientated. However, it makes sense to showcase our worth where possible.

So how is this done? If you’re looking to gain employment with a certain industry, it can be a good idea to share content that relates to that company. This shows employers that you are looking to live the brand, rather than just fill a position.

If you have a business-related social network page such as LinkedIn, ensure it details all your skills and accomplishments thus far in the business world. This partnered with the right kind of content and blog posts makes you a far more attractive proposition to any potential employer.

You should also ensure that your grammar is the best it can be. Should you need to practice writing posts, why not write them within a document or within a proof reading program before posting your update? This will ensure that your posts are coherent, and you will start ensuring all your future posts follow suit by way of habit.

Overall, engagement is key when making an impression with potential employers, but the right kind of engagement has to be implemented to ensure the right kind of results are yielded. If you’re a photographer that uses apps such as Instagram and Pinterest, then ensure you’re uploading some professional shots in order to who case your work. Those who write blogs related to the industry should ensure they’re shared on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Becoming a Freelancer

working-freelanceOne of the biggest changes in the job markets in recent years has been the rise of the freelancer. Nearly five million people in the UK are now registered as a freelancer in one profession or another and this number looks set to continue. There are a lot of positives to being your own boss but there are also a few points to remember to keep your view of the potential career realistic.

The good stuff

If you are in a job where you dread Sunday night because Monday morning follows it or you are sick of your time being dominated by office politics then you are likely one of the growing group of people who have instead become freelancers. While working practices are changing, many companies still have old fashioned ideas and approaches that care little for the health and mental well being of their staff – so these staff are another group considering a change of direction.

The biggest benefits for many people are the flexibility of working hours, the ability to work at home or where you want and the lack of a tyrannical boss. You do need a certain mind-set to work under these conditions – self-discipline for one and an ability to motivate yourself is another.

Setting yourself up

There are a few steps to take to set yourself up as a freelancer once you know what kind of work you are going to do. First you need to register as self-employed with HMRC. They will advise you about paying tax and your National Insurance with the tax year running from 6h April to 5th April the next year.

From day one, make sure you keep accurate records of all the money you make and your outgoings. It is often well worth getting a professional accountant with expert IR35 knowledge to help with this as not only will they ensure you pay your taxes correctly and don’t get into trouble, they will also see if you are entitled to any tax breaks or other expenses you can claim for. They will also advise if you need to register for VAT (usually if your annual turnover is over £83,000) and if you should be a limited company or just a sole trader.

Part of keeping accurate records involves having a business bank account so this is another important step. Most banks offer special business accounts with debit cards and other basic features with many offering free banking for a period of a year or two. Insurance may also be needed depending on what you do and if you have any business premises.

Finding work

It can be a bit terrifying when you realise that if you don’t get work, you don’t get paid and that a week off paid is a thing of the past. But if you get yourself organised, have a portfolio or a CV that will attract attention and make use of the various freelance websites that are available to help you find work, it can be surprisingly how quickly it all starts to come together and you join the ranks of the happily self-employed.