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Social Media Check: Is This Company Right for You?

See if this company can get your “Like”, online.

Employers are performing a social media check to find out whether you’re a fit for their company, so why not turn the tables and use social media yourself to find out whether the company is a fit for you? Don’t limit your research on potential employers to the company website. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the info that you’ll find there will tend to be considerably biased.

In order for you to get a full picture of a company and whether it’s a fit, you’ll need to dig deeper by looking into the company’s social media presence. You’ll likely be surprised by what you find. Here are a few ways that you can use a social media check to dig deeper into a potential employer.

Get insight into the company culture.

Company culture has become a competitive feature touted by employers to entice the best talent - everyone wants to have the best company culture. Whether it’s laid back attire, work-from-home opportunities or frequent team building getaways, the perks of working for a company with a strong culture are well understood, and employers do their best to promote the benefits their company culture offers to employees. Assessing company culture can help you decide if it fits your personal work style and if you think you may be happy there.

A company’s social media presence is one thing that can tell you a lot about what it would be like to work there. If a company’s website is set up effectively, you’ll easily be able to find links to social media channels that represent the company. Active channels and the number thereof will vary widely from company to company, but you’ll typically be able to at least find the basics and start your social media check.

While a company’s social media channels should have a consistent voice and tone across the board, different channels do provide different types of information. Consider the following examples in regard to the differences in channels when researching a company with a social media check.

  • LinkedIn: This is the professional side of the company. You’ll find posts about things like job listings, awards the company or its employees have received, upcoming events, and PR mentions.

  • Facebook: You’ll see more of the character of the company here. While there will still be a level of professionalism, it’s likely that you’ll find more photos of employees interacting with one another at the office or during outings, stories about the company and anecdotes about what’s great about working there.

  • Instagram: This is where the company can really promote its personality. Photos and videos of the people and things that make the company what it is and really give the company life can be found here.

Don’t limit yourself to the three channels listed above, of course. Companies are active on all types of channels these days. From Twitter and Tumblr, all the way to Snapchat and Google’s constantly changing Google+.  Create your target company list and start researching on social media.

Learn from word of mouth.

While you can certainly gain a lot of insight into company culture by viewing what a company posts about itself on its social media channels, the fact of the matter is that the posts are typically crafted by the marketing department to help the company connect with its target audience and develop things like brand loyalty and recognition. For this reason, it’s important that you go to the source that’s the most accurate and that’s a bit more genuine: current and former employees.

Social media sites, like Facebook for example, allow followers to post reviews about companies. Any company that’s looking to be honest and transparent, will allow open reviews from their customers and employees.

You can look at sites like Glassdoor as well to go beyond what’s traditionally considered as falling within the category of social media. Platforms where conversations are started about the quality of a company and the experience of current and former employees offer a great deal of insight into how much of a fit a company would be for you.

Consider feedback from both current and former employees, but take each with a grain of salt. Current employees may tend to be a bit biased toward the company that they work for. Former employees, on the other hand, are former employees for a reason. People leave jobs for all types of reasons, not always negative. The ones who did leave based on a negative reason, however, are highly likely to be biased in the opposite direction, whether the departure was their fault or not. Nonetheless, this tactic can offer valuable insight in your search for the right fit and can help in assessing company culture.

Stay up-to-date.

What if a company you would love to work for doesn’t currently have any openings that fit your particular set of skills? Not to worry. You can follow the company on social media to keep up-to-date on new openings that might match what you’re looking for.

LinkedIn is the obvious place to start, but companies will also post job listings on other channels, so keep up with a variety of channels. Following companies on social media can help you keep up with updated listings without spending a lot of time scouring through pages and pages of listings on companies’ job listing website pages.

Read company blogs.

Make sure to include the company blog in your social media check. You can learn a lot by browsing through company blogs. Forward thinking companies will be actively engaged in their business’ community and consistently posting thought leadership pieces.

Company blogs will often present expertise in the form of articles written by team members. This will allow you, the job seeker, to dig into the caliber of employee with whom you’d be working if you were hired by one of your target companies. It can also help in assessing company culture - a company that allows employees to blog likely has a great internal culture.

A company with team members frequently posting articles presenting innovative ideas and concept on which they’re working is a company that’s likely successful. Innovation and staying on top of trends are key components of a successful business, and obviously one of your goals should be to work for a company that’s headed in a positive direction. Job security is important, and a company blog can provide you with interesting insight into the future direction of a company you’re targeting.

Whatever platform or channel you choose to utilize, a social media check can be a highly effective tactic for determining fit. You can learn a lot about a company by what they post on social media and the messages they send out to their target audience. If the messages they send connect with you, then it’s likely that the company is a fit. Arm yourself with this powerful tool when searching for your next job and you’ll be better positioned to be happy in your next job.

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