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Use Instagram to Land Your Next Executive Job

By Jewel Bracy DeMaio

Social media is dominating executive job search today, and that will clearly be the case for the foreseeable future. The go-to social media outlet is LinkedIn. Previously, I’ve written about why you need to be on LinkedIn, and how to get executive-level LinkedIn recommendations.

While a LinkedIn presence is required for any effective executive job search, it’s important to build a multi-pronged social media approach. That means Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps a social media outlet, that, because it’s not known for listing job announcements per se, you may not have considered before: Instagram.

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Meet Instagram

Instagram.com is an online mobile photo- and video-sharing social network.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, and the site is a rising star.

It grew faster than expected in 2014.

In 2015, Instagram surpassed Twitter to become the second-largest social network in the U.S.A.

Executives would be wise to tap into this community for purposes of job search.

The reasons, according to a social media study by The Pew Research Center:

  • 17% of Instagram users are over age 50.
  • 26% of users earn $75K or more annually.
  • 24% have graduated from college.

How to Leverage Instagram for Job Search

A smart approach would be to use Instagram to support job search efforts on other social media outlets. This is a back-door job search strategy most executives you’re competing with won’t think about. Therefore, you are more likely to uncover insights your competition won’t have.

If you already have an account, it’s likely full of casual, fun photos. Therefore, set up a secondary account for professional use. You can have up to 5 accounts.

If you’re not on Instagram yet, getting started is simple.

  • Set up an account simply using your name, or your name and your profession / industry.
  • Write a bio that brands who you are, what you do, and the value you bring – keep your audience of employers and recruiters in mind.
  • Instagram allows you to insert a URL into your profile. The best approach here is to link to your LinkedIn profile.

Next, build a target list of companies. Google, “company name site:Instagram.com” to find the official company account and their most popular entries on Instagram. Follow the company the same way you’d follow an organization on the other social media outlets.

By the way, companies’ ads on Instagram may open your eyes to organizations you hadn’t previously heard or thought of.

  • Clicking the ad may take you to a relevant link or video that can give you some insights.
  • Clicking “Explorer” will show you photos from companies you follow. For example, you can see their new product releases.

How Employers Use Instagram

Corporations are using Instagram to announce job openings, market their brand and presence, and display their company culture.

For example, General Electric, which has 216,000 followers, posts numerous photos from behind the scenes showcasing the innovations they’re creating. Those photos include specifications, drawings, and state-of-the-art processes, all with detailed captions.

Leverage Instagram in Job Interviews

Visualize yourself standing head and shoulders above the other executives on the shortlist when you drop a nugget of gold about GE’s latest and greatest during your interview.

Today, hiring managers are placing heavier emphasis on personality and fit. So what you can learn from Instagram about the corporate culture can be invaluable during your interview (as well as an opportunity for you to evaluate them).

View the pictures for a glimpse into a day in the life at that company. You may come across photos of a corporate celebration because of a major achievement. That big win may not have made it yet onto the official web site or blog, but your mention of it to the interviewer can suddenly shift the atmosphere from interrogation to conversation.

It’s imperative to genuinely demonstrate your interest in the company and its success. Many an executive interview falls flat because the candidate fails to express why he wants to work for this company.

The stock answer that sounds like, “Your organization would provide me with a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate my strategic leadership expertise and people management skills,” is both cliché and forgettable.

But saying, “I respect what you’re working on regarding {product X}, and am confident that my expertise in {A, B and C} can make a difference in this business rising to the next level. Plus…I’m actually looking forward to those First Friday celebrations I see that you all like to have to keep everybody engaged and committed to the cause!”

Sharing that insight demonstrates both your interest and your understanding of the organization that most of (or all) of your competition will not have -- an incredible advantage today.


About this author...

Jewel Bracy DeMaio, Job-Hunt's Executive Job Search Expert, finds out who you are, what you do, and the value you bring, and articulates that in a way that invites the employers and recruiters to call you. Ms. DeMaio is a triple-certified, nationally-recognized executive resume writer and job search coach. She is the author of The Ultimate Job Search Guide, available on Amazon. Learn more at Perfect10Resumes.com, or call 855-JOB-FOUND