First – Clean Up Your Act
If you haven’t already, you will want to create a LinkedIn account. The search engines index everything on the internet, so your social media should also show up in search queries.
You should also be careful about what you post. Even if you delete it, the internet saves a copy of everything you have done online. This includes what you have liked, shared, and commented on. You will also want to check your privacy settings on Facebook and limit the scope of some of your posts to friends and family.
Common Social Media Tools
Make sure you are engaging in these activities on LinkedIn:
- Research companies and hiring mangers – name, relevant updates, location
- Join professional groups and chime in on the conversations
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile includes: Resume, Work Samples, Endorsements
- Use LinkedIn as extra space – provide a link on your resume to your LinkedIn profile so potential employers can get a more complete picture of your accomplishments and skills
- Reach out to first, second, and third-degree connections for information, advice, and introductions to hiring managers or potential candidates
- LinkedIn allows you to select “open to new opportunities” as a way to let potential employers and recruiters know you are in the job market. This is under the radar for the most part.
- Don’t forget to search job postings on LinkedIn and apply!
Facebook, though primarily a social network continues to become a one stop shop for connecting with people – from friends and family, to colleagues, coworkers, and clients. You never know who in your network is able to help you, so be sure to leverage this platform as you advance your career. With 2.19 billion monthly users, it seems most of the world is on Facebook.
During your job search:
- Join groups of people with common interests and network with them.
- Use Facebook lists to separate your personal and professional connections.
- Use private messaging to communicate with relevant people within your network.
Twitter, averaging 336 million active users, is a bit different for a social network. It can be very interactive and you can connect with and follow literally anyone on the planet with a Twitter profile (Professional connections, friends, the President, or one of the Real Housewives!). Job seekers can connect with people that they know and communicate with groups of individuals through "circles" of contacts. Those networks can be tapped for referrals professionals who might share information, advice and job leads. “Circles” are similar to the discussion groups that exist on LinkedIn and Facebook. While Twitter might not be the social platform that first comes to mind for job seekers, 92% of companies are using social media for hiring, and we're not just talking about hiring managers checking up on applicants' social profiles.
Here are some tips for Twitter:
- Join industry chats on Twitter by searching for topics that interest you.
- These are specific topics, at specific times with moderators
- Finding better content - group together people and have all of their tweets come in a separate feed.
- Using Twitter Lists - Create a list, add people by clicking on them and then “add to list”
- Keeping up with them can be the hard part, using an app such as tweet deck or bookmarking can help
How to Best Present Yourself Online
LinkedIn and Twitter also give you the opportunity to put out a headline as a bit of a tagline for your personal brand. Be sure to answer these three questions in your headline:
- What do you do?
- Who do you help?
- What problem do you solve?
LinkedIn gives you space to add a personal summary as well. Be sure your summary answers these key questions:
- Who are you?
- Who do you help/serve?
- What do you do?
- What makes you different?
- Why should people connect with you?
Be Aware of the Pitfalls
Too much information can “poison the well.” Employers will scan social networks to get additional information on potential hires. Even with privacy settings in place, there is software that can get around that so don’t post anything which may paint you in an unflattering light.
Lastly, social media is just a tool and it is not the only one. Getting out from behind the computer and connecting with people in person or on the phone is perhaps the most valuable tool.
Let us know how we can help you in advancing your career!