Social media has revolutionised the way we consume information, communicate with others, and watch content. Who hasn’t lost an hour watching reels of cats on Instagram or scrolling through dozens of videos of the latest dance craze on TikTok?

But what role does social media play in successful job hunting? With an estimated 800 million videos on YouTube, how credible is the endless content that’s out there?

Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, social media is a valuable tool because it’s free and accessible. Content is often delivered in bite-sized, actionable chunks so isn’t overwhelming and there’s the opportunity to convey personality as well as good advice. This is particularly appealing in a people-focused industry such as recruitment.

However, it’s worth remembering that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean credibility and it’s important not to be swayed by polished videos and high follower numbers.

Trust is important – easily accessible information also means social channels can be a minefield of unreliable advice that could damage your job search success. The sheer volume of information means it can be difficult to find a trusted source and separate good advice from bad.

When you do find a trusted source, be selective. Generating content at volume often means that numerous topics are covered. For example: one minute you are watching advice on how to deal with a counter-offer and the next moment it segues into talking about toxic employers – sensationalising a topic or drawing in viewers with clickbait titles.

The comments section of social media content, where people share their experiences and ideas, can also be a source of good (and bad!) advice.

Understanding the credentials and background experience of who you are watching and learning from is important. The scope and quality of advice that can be provided in a short video is often generalised, as we acknowledge in our own digital content. Without context, there’s no way to offer advice around nuances circumstances or specific situations.

We do use social media to share advice, but our aim is to put a friendly face to a process that can feel intimidating to people, to show that we want to be helpful and to set the foundations for a relationship that could be trust based in the future – once we’ve met in person.

Our advice to jobseekers would be to consider advice on social media as part of a bigger picture – watch videos and content but do your own research, read company websites, and speak to people you trust rather than solely relying on what you see on TikTok or YouTube.