Can Instagram Help You Find a Job?
Smile and Say "Yes!"
By Aisha Newton
Monster Contributing Writer
Yes it can, most of us are somewhat familiar with Instagram, right? It is the ubiquitous photo sharing App that allows amateur photographers to showcase their pictures on the web. With the use of filters and borders you can jazz up your images, turning the most mundane items into works of art.
But can selfies and pictures of food, get you a job?
Well that depends on the type of work or career you are looking for. Now let’s keep things in perspective, if you were hoping to land a job in a fancy law firm or an accountants office, this probably isn't’ the best place to look.
That being said, people who work in fields that are more creative can and should use Instagram to promote their talents! By creating an online portfolio you can let people see your work and learn about you in the process.
I recently read a story about J Clark Walker, a barber that landed a job through Instagram. He never sent in a resume, the entire transaction took place via the web. He was working as a barber in Utah and was looking for a change. He had heard about Instagram and decided to give it a try. He began posting pictures of his clients and slowly but surely he developed a following. He began actively following other barbers and when he saw that a Barber Shop in New York was hiring, he reached out to them.
Because of his Instagram account, his new employer was able to see his work and invited him to stop by if he was ever in the city. He seized the opportunity and came to visit the shop, after a nice chat with the owner and a few test haircuts he got the job!
His Instagram account was a live resume; his employer was able to see the skill he displayed and learn about him. His client biographies and anecdotes showed his boss that he was a personable barber and a great fit for the shop.
Clearly Mr. Walker did all the right things, but what did he do exactly?
First off he took the time to post pictures. He posted photographs that allowed people to see the quality of his work and used relevant hashtags to ensure that other barbers would find them. A simple but effective strategy to get noticed by his peers. If you’re looking to find employment as a manicurist, posting pictures of your cute floral designs is great; but if nobody sees them then it’s almost as if they aren’t online.
He stayed up to date on industry trends and was knowledgeable in his field. Posting pictures is great but people want to see fresh images. Try to be innovative in what you post and make sure that the quality of the image is good. Nobody can see your hard work if the image is blurry or buried under a dark filter.
OK sure that worked for a Barber, but what about me?
Do some research to find the popular hashtags that industry people are using. Then make sure to include them in your image descriptions. Try not to get carried away and hashtag everything, but stick to the ones that are the most relevant.
Be mindful of what you post and try to keep the photographs relevant. Pictures featuring explicit images and profane language should be avoided. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want your Mama to see the picture, then you shouldn’t post it.
Remember that your prospective employer could be looking at these pictures, so you want to put your best foot forward. Another thing to keep in mind is that your photographs should help illustrate the job you want. If you are looking for a job as a Stylist in the fashion world, people expect to see you well groomed. Pictures of you rolling out of bed, unkempt in a dirty room aren’t exactly projecting the image of a well put together fashionista.
Follow your peers, if you know of other people in your industry using Instagram start following them. Try to be an active follower by liking and commenting on relevant pictures, this can help to help foster a relationship with them. Instagram can be a great way for you to network.
Even if you aren’t actively searching for a job, you can still post pictures of your daily activities and even add those photo links to your written resume. Instead of the selfie in the bathroom, try taking pictures or video of some of your hobbies and interests, a picture of yourself at your current job or pictures of where you volunteer. Just remember to respect your colleagues’ privacy and that of your customers. The same way Instagram can get you hired, it can also get you fired.
So what are you waiting for? Get out your Smartphone and start taking pictures! You never know, who might send a #Joboffer your way.
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