As times change, recruiters find new, digital ways to evaluate candidates. Your social media activity and profiles can say a lot about the type of character you are. Including whether you’re the right person for the role.
You probably already use these platforms to air your opinions and develop an expertise in whatever area tickles your fancy. But, social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter are also great tools for networking with organisations and individuals to help get a foot in the door.
So how can you use your social profiles to your advantage when job hunting? Here are some top tips on using your online presence to make you more employable.
Build your brand
Everyone needs a personal brand nowadays; and standing out from the clutter online has never been so important. By building your brand, you’re basically showcasing your career achievements and your work to date.
This could be anything from sharing links to relevant portfolios from your last graphic design job, or even sharing your latest campaigns from your marketing job. By keeping your connections and followers in the loop with your work, your professional brand will grow.
Think of it like this. If a hiring manager is searching through your social media profile and sees links to your previous work, you’ll not only impress them, but it’ll also act as a longer portfolio for your application. Win-win!
What you can do
Figure out what you want to stand for. Then, create posts based on your values and beliefs for your brand. Choose one to three areas of expertise and build your profiles around these.
Become an expert
A great way to stand out using your social profiles is to become an expert in your field. Try to provide insightful thought leadership and opinions about key topics in your industry. Or, at least engage become someone who is engaging with relevant and up-to-date facts; that way, people will start to take notice of you.
Women’s magazine Marie Claire recommends that you show off your expertise by blogging. Anyone with an internet connection can start one. “Write thoughtful commentary on the work topics you’re passionate about. Find industry forums and professional groups online and start participating.”
LinkedIn and Medium are two platforms that are great for airing your opinions. Both enable you to follow companies and people and engage with their activities. If you’re interested in really creating your own brand, then you can set up a blog on WordPress for free! You can then link to your blog posts on your social media profiles to discuss your thoughts and opinions.
Just remember to publish well-researched opinions. Shallow expressions based on nothing don’t generally sit well with people; and using them with potential bosses wouldn’t be the smartest move.
Therefore, ensure the companies or people you’re engaging with match your values and you know what they stand for and are interested in.
What you can do
Write a list of specific topics in your area of choice. Each day, read one article about your field and create an insightful post or piece in response. And don’t plagiarise or copy others’ work! This is a sure-fire way to ruin your brand reputation.
Engage regularly, but not too much
Depending on the platform you’re working on, engaging regularly is key. But you need to strike the right balance with this.
If you’re trying to become an expert in a field but are churning out posts on every social media site left, right and centre, this will get you nowhere. The only thing you’ll achieve is a severe drop in followers and engagement. You’ll appear like an auto-posting robot.
So, where is the sweet spot in how often you should post and engage?
A solid rule of thumb is to not exceed two posts a day on Facebook, 30 times on Twitter and no more than once each business day on LinkedIn. The key is to not clog the newsfeed and only post when you have quality content to share. So, think twice before post your morning routine or what you have for lunch!
You should consider your timing, too. There are particular times with each platform that have the best engagement. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all.
Try to spread out your posts so they aren’t all bunched into one hour. Aim to post in the mornings, between 12-1pm and 5-6pm. But of course, it just depends on when your audience is most engaged.
What you can do
Figure out how often you should post based on your followers. Then, post whatever frequency works best for you.
Some platforms such as Facebook have scheduling functions. So, you can backlog posts to be published whenever you want. Alternatively, you can use a social media management program, like Loomly, to keep everything on target. This will make having a social presence much easier, especially if you’re likely to forget.
Clean up your social media pages
Keep it professional, always. The last thing you’ll want is for a hiring manager to pull up your drunken antics from last Saturday’s big night out.
While your LinkedIn will be the first port of call for employers, it’s a good idea to keep all of your pages clean. Of course, it should go without saying that plastering drunken pictures or offensive content on a professional profile like LinkedIn is grossly inappropriate. This would be a very silly mistake and it could damage your career!
However, employers can also check your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles to get an idea of your character; so you should always keep these clean. You never know who’s checking!
If you really don’t want to do this and would rather treat these social media pages as personal, then you can always make them private. This way only a select few can see your posts.
What you can do
Go through your personal pages and clean them up. If there’s anything in there that may be a little too risky, it’s best to delete it.
There are several tactics you can use to boost your online presence and get noticed by top employers. The rise in candidates’ and employers’ digital presence in 2020 means it’s hard to be ignored. But, work it to your advantage and you could be rolling in offers.
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About the author: Leaving behind the sunny weather of Australia, Emma Mackenzie traipsed to beautiful Scotland last year to continue her writing pursuit. With a wide variety of interests Emma loves writing about anything and everything. And usually drinking endless cups of tea while doing so.