When job hunting, Social Media can show character development

Dec 20, 2019

Social media is beneficial for job-seekers. It keeps people more aware of their behavior on a platform that lives forever, it allows job-seekers to connect with others in their field that they know, and it provides a way to learn how people in positions that they aspire to be in got to that job. The positives outweigh the negatives and the power of social media sites geared for professional development such as LinkedIn further the importance of social media as a whole as a powerful tool for helping people find employment.

Social media’s use as a way for employers to learn more about an individual is beneficial because it keeps people more in check of their behavior online. While this can be to the detriment when people create false personas of themselves, it also reminds people that social media sights are public forums and that the concept of things “living forever” on the internet is based on truth. When people post comments that are derogatory to others, their conduct can be found and be the difference between that person being one of the top candidates for a position, and the application being trashed. Knowing that someone can check your history could curtail how people act. The downside with this is some old things you have said which you may no longer mean, live on. In a case where words are still posted though an individual may no longer mean them, there are still two benefits. First, this encourages individuals to be more circumspect about their presence online, even their past information and promotes “cleaning up” one’s behavior. Additionally, even if the information is not deleted, it can show character development. If one were to acknowledge the errors of what one posted previously, this can allow potential employers to see how a person deals with criticism and presents a broader picture of whether that candidate continues to grow and learn.

Social media helps job-seekers by creating more opportunities to reach out and find jobs. This enables better communication between people in various fields and can create further connections than one could get before the internet. Social media makes it easier to stay on top of what friends and acquaintances are doing. For a field like Journalism where references are almost more important than a reel or resume, being able to stay in touch with these people is key. Additionally, it is difficult to remember where everyone has previously worked. The professional site LinkedIn includes past work history so that one can find out who in their network has connections to a station or area they want to work in and use those connections to open a door and begin communication with a potential future employer. This also helps people to know where an application should be sent as not all websites are clear. Finding someone with the job title of “hiring manager” can ease the application process and help determine how to address the resume.

The final advantage is that you can follow the career paths of other people more easily. If a person is in the position that you aspire to have, you can see the steps they took to get them there. While everyone has their own story, this can help plan which jobs are good beginning positions. It also makes it easier to see how people can work up from the bottom to enviable positions. This can also bring up different job positions that may not have been considered before because of a lack of knowledge that the position exists.

Social media’s different avenues that foster connections provide wonderful opportunities for those on the job hunt. The cliché of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” has a lot of basis in facts and social media creates ways to know more people. It also shows who other people know and allows for further relationships. The usefulness of social media far outweighs the potential harms and should be used and included in the employment process by both the jobseeker and future employers.


Carlie Ott is a student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California majoring in Journalism. Carlie is in in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class. The class covers social media and First Amendment issues. Carlie wrote the above essay in response to the following question: Does social media help job-seekers find work or does it harm employment prospects?

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