Career / Career Growth / Marketing Yourself

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Hired Through Instagram

. 12 min read . Written by Priyanka Sutaria
The Ultimate Guide To Getting Hired Through Instagram

Just like LinkedIn, Instagram has become a great platform to make professional connections and even find jobs. Instagram’s user base has seen the biggest spike of over a billion active users, leading businesses to take to Instagram to engage, communicate, collaborate, and provide services to their client base.

Job hunt methods have undergone a massive shift in the past few years, since the advent of the Instagram boom. Earlier, stages of looking for a job would include writing a well-structured resume, getting hard copies, and rushing door-to-door in office spaces for that one single interview that would change your life. The process has since changed to take into account your Instagram resume and showcase your accomplishments online.

So when all the action is happening on Instagram, why rely only on plain old job portals for work? People are hiring everywhere, so learn how to find jobs on Instagram using these effective strategies and amp up your Instagram resume.

This infographic explains a step by step guide, to getting hired through Instagram. It begins with optimising your Instagram profile, including your profile's bio, display picture, links in your bio along with an appropriate email for employers to reach you . Next comes choosing the visuals and tonality to suit your Instagram resume, followed by planning a crsip content strategy and finally putting in efforts by great networking to get hired easily on Instagram.

We have put together a guide that will help you through each step of your Instagram job search. Browse to the section you would like to read:

Your Instagram profile matters: update it or make a new one. It is a visual representation of your skill-set and experience which will be visible to potential employers.

Start by setting up your Instagram profile with an appropriate username and writing a professional Instagram bio description. Then, add highlights on your profile to display your work samples, certifications and  upskilling updates, testimonials, and images to furnish a good work profile on Instagram. You could also provide links to your resume, portfolio, website, LinkedIn profile, and – most importantly – your email for employers to reach you..

Bonus Tip: Use Linktree! it is completely free and lets you incorporate more than one link in your bio, to showcase your skills or work experience for a definitive Instagram job search.

Let’s look at how you can optimise your Instagram bio to showcase your skills and experience in the most effective way.

This image is a visual representation of how to optimise your Instagram BIO that gets you hired. It shows how you can optimize the bio of your Instagram profile for an effective job search to showcase your skills and experience on your profile. Just as your Instagram app, On the left-hand side of this image represents the display picture,  Keep a semi-professional display picture.
Next to it lies your, BIO Description. Write A crisp description that draws a clear picture niche with an email address where the potential employer can reach out to you. You could also mention links to your website, portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or any other relevant link by using Linktree to optimise your Bio description effectively for your Instagram job search.

Then for your Instagram highlights mentioned right below the description, create each highlight showing all aspects of previous work, internship images, projects, skills, creatives, graphics or any volunteer work.

A work profile should primarily showcase all your skills in action. Whether you are in a creative field or one that is more desk-bound, displaying work samples, photographs, testimonials, and upskilling updates is a great way to showcase your work profile on Instagram.

Aarya, a Kool Kanya follower we spoke to, shares, “I converted my Instagram into a public profile, started building a website and attached that, started a new Instagram page for my phone photography/camera clicks, made a strongly linked account, and made a creative resume.”

Building Your Instagram Resume

Building Your Profile As Your Personal Brand On Instagram

Simply put, building a personal brand on Instagram essentially means that you majorly look into two things: brand visuals and tone of voice.

A brand can be representative of a company or an individual, depending on what the overarching objective is: increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or simply looking to get a job.

There are ways to do this:

  1. Build credibility
  2. Focus on follower growth
  3. Create engaging content

Build trust by providing value to your followers, which in this case are other stakeholders that can help you find a job, such as potential employers, colleagues from past companies, and clients from freelance projects that you might have worked for. 

A good Instagram resume also sets you apart from competitors, which are other potential candidates applying for a position that you’re eyeing.

Identify and speak directly to employers, friends at a company you worked for, mentors, and colleagues to drive more engagement on your profile and create a buzz to help you get a job on Instagram.

Instagram Resumes

Here a few Instagram resumes that you can look at and draw inspiration from:

This image shows the perfect example of an Instagram Resume showcasing your skills, achievements and roles of employement you have served in the past in the form of visually appealing images and text forms. The mentioned Instagram resume is of Ankita Chawla: @hustlerani and @hireankitachawla on Instagram.

Steps You Can Take to Build Your Profile

  • Build a sound profile with preferably colors that can give your profile a professional look, along with information that reflects all your skills, abilities, and the work you’ve done in a visually appealing manner. Ideally, you can display this data in the form of Instagram formats such as carousel posts, long-form IGTV videos, reels, and stories.
  • Identify Instagram accounts of companies to work for, legitimate job portals, colleagues from past organisations, and friends of friends who might be interested in hiring for their organisations.
  • Generate a hashtag set that you can keep searching for to find posts with relevant opportunities.

Top Hashtags for Job Seekers

A good search strategy on Instagram involves looking at all posts under a particular hashtag and exploring those work opportunities which seem relevant to you. It’s a great way to expand your Instagram job search. We looked into some hashtags based on their volumes on Instagram, which can help you find a job on Instagram.

These are a few popular hashtags that you can use for your Instagram job search:

Now that your Instagram resume is ready, it’s time to lay down a crisp content strategy.

Craft A Content Strategy About What To Post On Instagram

Kickstart your Instagram job search with a  content strategy using content pillars. This will help you organise your feed, stay consistent with your posts, and build a high-quality value-add on your Instagram job profile.

Content pillars are a subset of 4-5 topics orbiting around your content, which helps you showcase your expertise and get noticed faster.

This will ensure you are not missing out on any key calendar events and trending topics aligned with your niche or specialty.

Still, confused about how to map your pillars? Let’s look at these examples. A fitness coach could focus on pillars like motivation, workout, busting myths, recipes, and testimonials; whereas for a marketing strategist, it could be education, brand stories, tools and apps, skills, and mindset.

Keep in mind your goal and aspirations when repackaging content in the form of videos, images, IGTV video, reels, and carousels. If you are a writer, designer, or photographer on Instagram, it can be a great visual medium to showcase your work. But if you are in the sales and marketing field, find an aspect of your work that’s interesting and can be visually represented by the means of statistics, data, or tips to create posts on your Instagram profile.

Things To Keep In Mind While Listing down Your Content Pillars:

  1. Keep them specific to your domain, role, and specialty. However, they can hover around multiple themes.
  2. Target the topics encompassing your skills, the need of the job market, and your potential employers.
  3. Follow market trends and news in your domain and industry.
  4. Keep an eye on the requirements of the job role and skills in demand.
  5. Make a note of important dates and upcoming events 

Bonus tip: If you need help finding trending topics, Google Trends will show you what people are searching for on Google.

Create And Plan Your Content Calendar

After you have defined your content pillars, it’s time to put them into practice. Maintaining a content calendar will not only help you stay consistent and organised, but this will also help avoid any last-minute heat.

  • Showcase your samples and skills
  • Direct attention to your profile actively
  • Network aggressively
This image is an example of a content calendar
Image ref: Pinterest

Do’s & Don’ts Of A Content Strategy For Your Instagram Job Search:

Curate your social media feed in the manner you think your potential employer deems fit. Remember, when recruiters look at an Instagram resume, their intent is to gauge your personality. Treat your Instagram profile like the canvas for personal expression that it’s supposed to be.

It’s the person that you are behind the various designations and qualifications that represent you. So, don’t let the possibility of a recruiter lurking on your profile stop you from posting those vacation pictures or showcasing your sense of humour by sharing cat videos or dog memes. Don’t hide your personality in the pursuit of landing a job. Your recruiter would much rather see the real ‘you’, rather than the ‘you’ that’s harping or posting about your dream company’s values or about things that supposedly align with the company culture.

Here’s What You Should Keep Away From:

  • Anything without a vocab check: Ensure the use of proper grammar, spellings, and punctuations. Vocabulary can really throw people off, and if a recruiter comes across a “mah lyf mah rulzz” kinda post, it’s bound to work against you. 
  • Posts bad mouthing your job, your ex-boss, or coworkers. This doesn’t give a favourable impression, no matter how right you think you are or how annoying your coworkers truly were. And if you absolutely must, disguise your opinions in memes and go for it. 
  • Strong political views that aren’t empathetically expressed
  • Anything you posted just for thrills, like trolling someone.

Apart from this, there’s the obvious quest of trying to find out if you’re a law-abiding person, so avoid inappropriate references to drugs, the use of bad language, etc.

Network And Engage To Get Hired Using Instagram

You need to network to get work! Here are some great ways to engage on Instagram to get a job:

  • Create your own profile as an Instagram resume for companies to visit and take a look at.
  • Follow appropriate Instagram accounts of suitable employers, colleagues, and professional friends.
  • Engage with colleagues and your professional network on Instagram by sharing and commenting suitably where required.
  • Use high-volume hashtags for job seekers, to find jobs that might interest you.

Remember, it’s a small world and networking is still a boon for those looking for a job. What better way to do that other than approaching people courteously on a platform where they spend a lot of their time i.e. Instagram. Take these steps to ace networking on Instagram.

Who Should You Follow?

One of the best ways to achieve any goal is to create a funnel. And your Instagram job funnel, specifically related to who you are following, should go (from a wide to narrow opening) like this:

@gigglingmonkey on instagram

1. Companies You Have Worked For Or Have Communicated With In The Past

This is to make sure you are in touch with them and engage with them and their content often. This also makes it easier for you to reach out to them via DM, saying you loved working with them previously, and would be on board for another work opportunity.

2. Companies And Recruitment Agencies That Post Job Openings on Their Instagram Account

You may know these organisations from their social media presence, or from friends/colleagues who have previously worked for them. It’s good to stay in the loop when it comes to the kind of work they do, and it also gives you an insight into what they’re looking for in potential hires.

3. Companies You Really Want To Work For

It’s never a bad thing to do a little aspirational following and keep up with the ongoings of your dream company! Besides, if you engage with such companies regularly on their Instagram by liking and sharing their content, they’ll be more likely to possibility of hiring you.

4. People And Points Of Contact Who Work At Any Of The Above Companies

Companies are made of people, and following the employees who have a public social media presence can be a great way to network. You could tell them you love their work, and engage with them on their posts. This is a useful way to create and maintain human contact with company folk.

Recruitment Pages On Instagram You Can Follow:

Here are a few recruitment agency accounts and job portals that you can follow on Instagram: 

Disclaimer: KoolKanya is not responsible for any outcomes to any person asking you for a security fee and not eventually resulting in a job opportunity. Please use your discretion while applying for jobs on Instagram.

social media profiles with speech bubbles signifying hashtags, likes, messages, emojis

Who’s Following You?

If you are using Instagram to get work, it doesn’t hurt to focus on building followership. A network isn’t just something you dip into; it can also reach out to you.

How To Approach People On Instagram

It can be very daunting to drop a message or make a forward comment. But in the long run, even if that lead doesn’t pan out, it will allow you to practice your networking chops.

Swallowing your shyness and learning how to send a direct message on Instagrams can make a huge difference for your career.

And no, I don’t mean you go around spamming companies, asking them to follow up or check out your profile! I mean making the effort to craft a polite opening message, and asking if there are any job openings.

Having managed the Kool Kanya Facebook DMs for almost a year now, I too can say that being confident but polite can really make the difference between a social media manager offering you a point of contact and telling you there are no job openings at the moment.

We also spoke to a person from our professional network, who has been able to find a job using Instagram:

Abhishek Roy Guha, bagged a role of Strategy Lead in his previous job at ANIMAL through Instagram, a renowned creative agency, and ended up working with some great brands; including the launch and post-launch strategies for UNIQLO, a global coffee brand Araku Coffee, and many more. Along with pitching for new business development, he was also the internal SPOC for moment marketing.

He shared with us his strategy and tips on how to maximise your Instagram job search and nail your dream job as he did.

  1. Be Active – As cliched as it sounds, being active on social media helps. Plus, a larger network will always “share” posts that are relevant to you. PS – Keep your eyes open and WiFi-enabled. And if you find a new job you love that is great, pay it forward by looking out for newer options for your network too
  2. Utilise the search tool – Search by a company of interest, location, and alma mater to find specific contacts at your target company. Use this to your advantage and find a relevant connection. 
  3. Add your personal touch – When reaching out to someone on the platform, send a personalised request that makes you stand out from the crowd. You can mention the point of connection or commonality. 
  4. Make “The Ask” – One of the benefits of focusing your energies on social media is that people always want to interact. So don’t be shy, whether it’s mentorship, honest feedback on a company, or a professional recommendation— make that specific ask towards the end of the chat.
  5. Don’t Walk Away – The most important part of networking is staying connected with those who have helped or guided you. Keep in touch and check in on people ever so often. That would keep you in their thoughts, so if something comes up, you can be the person they turn to.
a hand uses a phone next to a social media profile with speech bubbles signifying hashtags, likes, messages, emojis

If nothing, make sure you are kind and willing to lend an ear occasionally online. You never know where work might come from. On occasion, be willing to have a chat even if it isn’t with a professional motive in mind, just to keep that network alive. Your friendliness and openness one time can lead to a future prospect.

Kool Kanya has a variety of resources to help you look for more job opportunities: here and here.

At the end of the day, nothing can guarantee your chances of getting hired. But you can increase them by exhausting every possible opportunity to your advantage. Instagram, once considered a frivolous photo-sharing app, is now a powerful tool to make your professional life successful.

With the whole world having moved on to the virtual, it’s become more important than ever to monitor the kind of voice and representation we’re putting for ourselves on this platform. Since the real is impossible to currently live on, the virtual is the new reality. So take all these tips and tricks, and make Instagram work for you. And as Abhishek suggests, “Keep your eyes open and WiFi-enabled!” to help you find a job on Instagram.

a woman sits next to her social media profile with speech bubbles signifying hashtags, likes

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Updated 13 September 2021