Instagram can be an effective tool in your job search—if you use it right. In this article, we’ll discuss effectively using Instagram to search for a new job and stand apart from the crowd in this competitive job market.
When using the Internet for your job search, you might immediately think of professional sites such as LinkedIn. But did you know that Instagram—home of food, selfies, and cute pet photos—could also be a great tool to find your next job? Most companies have their own dedicated IG page that provides news, information, branding, and their overall corporate culture. You can use that information, as well as your own IG account to land the job of your dreams.
In this article, we'll discuss the role of Instagram in your job search, including:
How can you use Instagram as a job search tool?
Do recruiters look at your Instagram?
Dos and don’ts of using Instagram for your job search
4 tips to use your Instagram profile effectively
Whether or not a company posts job openings on its Instagram page, it still provides a wealth of information that you might find helpful in your job search. And don’t forget your page. Think of it as a visual representation of who you are. Here are some key areas that Instagram can help you:
Building your personal brand. Instagram is a great tool for letting employers know who you are if you use it right. Avoid pictures of margaritas on the beach (or have a separate, private account for posting photos of your escapades) and focus on things you enjoy: cooking, sports, volunteering, spending time with your pet, along with examples of your work.
Developing a professional network. If there’s a company you’re interested in working for, follow it! If there’s a particular person within the company you'd like to work with, follow them and comment on their photos. Stay professional, and avoid any "stalker-y vibes." But these comments can be a great way to establish the beginnings of a professional relationship.
Researching the company. Before you go into an interview, it’s vital to know a thing or two about the company. Doing your homework shows the hiring manager that you’re truly interested in the position. Along with news and press releases, you’ll get a better idea of the corporate culture and how they work together as a team.
Showcasing your talents. Consider your Instagram page part of your online portfolio, where you can highlight your professional accomplishments. Upload your artwork, designs, or other social media posts that got some attention.
Short answer? Yes. These days, most employers do a check on a prospective employee’s socials, taking a look at what they post, who they follow, and what they’ve commented on. Social media sites like X, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp, and yes, Instagram, are usually in a recruiter’s sights and could make or break your candidacy.
Be careful of what you post online.
According to The Harris Poll, 70 percent of hiring managers think that all applicant’s social media profiles should be screened, and 67 percent use social media to “research” potential candidates. And don't think you're "in the clear" once you've got the job. An Express Employment Professionals survey stated that 88 percent of employers would consider firing someone over their social media content.
Use hashtags such as #hiring, #nowhiring, #werehiring to narrow down your job search parameters and find companies who are looking to hire. You can also use Instagram hashtags to raise your profile. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, post pictures of your work with hashtags like #graphicdesigner, #photoshop, #digitalmarketing, or #creative. But don’t go overboard. Too many hashtags might be viewed as #annoying.
So now that you know why Instagram can be helpful in your job search, it’s time to get down to “brass tacks.” Here are some ways that you can build a professional-looking profile that will make employers take notice:
Create a solid profile that provides an overview of your skills and background. Consider using LinkTree if you want to provide links to things that might go in your online portfolio.
Use longer videos, stories, and reels along with photographs to highlight your current and previous work.
Start building your Instagram network by following companies you’re interested in, former co-workers, other job sites, and any referrals you might receive (make sure it’s their professional account, not a personal one).
Use content pillars, which are categories and topics on which you want to focus your content. This allows you to keep your brand consistent and ensure you’re posting content that is aligned with your career goals.
Social media, including Instagram, can be a great way to show off your skills, talents, and personality, demonstrating to employers why you’d be a great fit for your company. Keeping your profile professional, active, and on-brand will help set you apart from the competition to land the job you want.
Even a great social media profile needs a great resume. Check out our Professional Resume Builder to create top-notch, expert-tested resumes that will help you stand out from the competition.
Instagram provides a wealth of information about companies, their brands, and their corporate culture.
Instagram can help you build your personal brand, showcase your work, research companies, and build your professional network.
To use Instagram effectively in your job search, build a professional, consistent profile, post content regularly, use hashtags, and follow people and companies you’re interested in working for.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.