Estimated reading time: 6 mins
There’s no getting around it. Social media is now an integral part of the job search. As a job seeker, you use it to learn about the companies that interest you. Social media is a great place to learn about work culture, values, company news, and other items of interest. It’s also clear that employers use social media. It’s a recruiting tool, and a way to vet potential candidates.
That last part is a great thing. It’s true! Forget about all the fear-mongering over your social media profile, and how one little mistake years ago can ruin your career. Your social media accounts are a platform that you have complete control over. You have the power to use them to present yourself to potential employers, in the exact way that you want. Here are eight ways to do that.
1. Treat The Job Search Like a Marketing Campaign
Businesses take a calculated approach to social media. Everything they post, everything they share, each engagement is done with a singular goal in mind. That’s boosting their brand in order to sell. In a sense, you are your own brand. Your skills and experience or what you have to offer potential employers.
Social media is a tool, and you have to use it proactively. Your participation insocial media should either contribute directly to your career efforts, or at least take them into consideration. Everything you do on social media is a reflection of your personality, interests, and values. These things are important to employers.
2. Keep Your Profile up to Date
There’s usually a bare minimum amount of information you have to fill in to complete your profile on most social media sites. That’s fine if you’re just using these sites to socialize. If you want to use them to improve your job search, you’ll want to fill out your profiles completely. Then, you want to keep them up to date.
Keep in mind that social media profiles are searchable. If you haven’t included information such as your location, contact information, and profession, recruiters might miss your profiles altogether. If they do find you, they might pass you up, if they don’t see something they are looking for. Besides, a completed profile simply doesn’t look very professional.
Your profile should be a clear, searchable description of you. Include your contact information, and keep it up to date. If possible, provide links to other social media accounts and your blog.
Finally, remember the keywords. These are words and phrases that are associated with your career field and skill set. You can pick up keyword phrases from job listings, industry related articles. Sprinkle these throughout your profile so that it ranks on search engines when recruiters use them.
3. Focus on Career Oriented Content
If you are actively searching for a job, your social media content should reflect that. This isn’t to say that you can’t share any funny or touching content, or engage with friends and family member. You certainly can, but you should also view your social media feeds from the perspective of a potential employer.
They are going to look at your recent history to assess the kind of person you are. Ask yourself this: If someone pulled up my Facebook page today, what would they see? Share and post a healthy amount of industry related articles, blog posts, and other content that indicates that you are active in your field.
4. Prioritize LinkedIn
Any social media platform can be used to boost your job search, but LinkedIn remains the one that is most associated with networking and career development. If you haven’t created an account there, do so quickly. Then, make sure your profile is very well done. This is a competitive platform, and you have to go the extra mile to stand out. You might even consider having your bio written by a professional. You can check out reviews of companies who provide this service in order to choose the best option.
To really stand out on LinkedIn you have to see your profile as just the beginning. There are so many other things you can do to make your mark, including:
- Publishing articles related to your field.
- Mentioning volunteer work
- Highlighting career related activities such as memberships in professional associations
- Making connections with the right people
- Following the companies that interest you
5. Consider Separating The Professional From The Personal Entirely
Since the job search is all about branding, it may be time to separate your personal social media presence from your professional (branded) presence. Think of it like this, if you owned a business, you would have separate pages for your business in addition to your personal pages. As a potential employee, you are your own business with your own services to offer.
Jenna Williams, blogger for All Top Reviews says, “Hiring managers need to gather information about potential hires quickly. By creating a professional presence, you give them an opportunity to learn about you in a strictly professional sense, without having to wade through a bunch of posts that aren’t relevant to them.”
6. Participate in Career Related Groups And Discussions
One way to make useful connections, and to develop your reputation as a thought leader in your field is to join professional groups and participate in industry related discussions. To find social media groups, simply search using keywords that are related to your field. You can also search for professional organizations in your local area, and reach out to them through social media.
Twitter is a great platform for finding and participating in professional conversations. Use their search feature to find relevant discussions. Then, join in with your thoughts.
Finally, consider participating in question and answer forums like Quora. There, you can show your expertise by finding and answering questions that are related to your field.
7. Promote Your Thought Leadership Content
If you haven’t started a blog, it’s something you should seriously consider. A blog is a platform for sharing your accomplishments, industry predictions, even instructional content. All of this can go a long way towards demonstrating your experience, expertise, and level of participation in your industry.
Once your blog is active, you can boost readership and get your content to the right people by promoting your posts on social media. There are several content promotion tools that marketing guru, Neil Patel recommends.
8. Track Your Reputation
As you make your mark on social media, others may begin to discuss you. It’s also possible that things you have posted in the past may become easier to find. This is why it’s important that you understand how you are perceived online. Here are some steps to take.
- Set up a Google Alert for your name. This will send anything noteworthy to your inbox.
- Search social media platforms for various combinations of your name, location, and profession. You might find forgotten accounts, mentions, and possibly some posts you want to delete or edit.
Final Thoughts: Think Like an Employer
Hiring managers are busy people who are given the job of quickly finding candidates who are a good match for both company culture and have the skills they need. If you can create a social media presence that provides them with the information they need about you, it becomes that much easier for them to decide to pursue you for job opportunities.
Author Bio: Daniela McVicker is a blogger for Top Writers Review. She’s an experienced writer who specializes in a variety of topics. These include hiring and recruiting, education, personal branding, and technology. Daniela enjoys binge-watching funny shows on Netflix, creating art projects with her friends, and has recently picked up Brazilian Jujitsu.