The Use and Misuse of Social Media By Job Candidates

How personal branding can enhance horticulture career opportunities.

Social media, the ever changing digital exchange of communication, ideas, graphics, and videos every single second of the day, presents both a beneficial and detrimental platform for job candidates looking to land the perfect horticulture and green industry position. Everyone wants to use social media as a boasting platform for all the partying they did at college – but does every employer want to see their prospective candidate with a beer in hand? Not so much.

Be careful to not misuse social media before and during the job application and selection process. It can be easy to slip into the instant-sharing mindset of the digital world today. Here are some social media misuses to avoid in the short-term:

  • Any video/picture of alcohol: Sure, anyone over 21 is allowed to consume alcohol, but your employers don’t want to see it. They want to know you’re professional, serious, and career-oriented.
  • Vulgar/slang comments: We all had those weird sayings and profane friend group comments in college. There’s no need to have them plastered on your social media still.
  • Employer ranting: Some days are good, some days are bad – whatever it may be, never take to social media to trash your employer, manager, or place of employment.

Now that we have the misuses out of the way, let’s look at the benefits of social media for personal branding and information display in the eyes of an employer:

  • LinkedIn: The professional social media platform, spend your social media time bolstering up your LinkedIn profile to reflect all of your employment, achievement, interests, and even use it to show off your writing skills. There is an article-publishing feature, so start to curate your own personal blog right on LinkedIn. Keep topics well researched, succinct, and interesting for the reader.
  • Personal website: Close to 39 percent of surveyed HR professionals claim that having a personal website, all other things equal, puts that candidate in the winning position. Personal websites give you the advantage to demonstrate your creativity, go-getter attitude, and ability to present it all in an eye-catching manner. (
  • Personal causes: Social media is a perfect place to make a web page or user profile for a cause you care about. Let’s say you want to help manage a local ASPCA chapter, or you’re interested in launching a community toy drive. Social media is the place to be for creating a page, sparking interest, and showcasing what you’ve accomplished for others.

Social media enables us to develop a personal brand practically overnight. This branding gives employers a more personal and professional view of who you are, what’s important to you, and what you hope to accomplish in your green industry career. It’s vital to use social media for good and personal brand cultivation over flashy party display and unnecessary outburst for attention.

Follow our tips for avoiding misuse, as well as capitalizing from good use, and you’ll be on your way to a sustainable career in no time.