Social media can be your worst enemy when you’re searching for a new job.
Or, if you use it right, it can be your best friend.
By now we all know that hiring managers and prospective employers research the candidates they’re looking to hire online and they report that they’re suspicious of candidates who have no online presence. So, you might as well use social media to your advantage and let it guide you to a new job. Here’s what you should start doing on social media to impress hiring managers.
Take Charge of Your Social Identity
Instead of using social media to post personal pictures and stalk your ex-best friends, start using it to craft a personal brand. By establishing an online personality that has a more professional tone, you’ll demonstrate that you’re well versed in current Internet and social media capabilities. So, make yourself visible to hiring managers, recruiters, and other potential employers and you’ll soon find connections to opportunities that you otherwise never would have discovered.
Clean it All Up
You’ve probably already started this process—removing inappropriate pictures from college and deleting comments that are offensive. Even random posts that might seem angry, excessively negative, or potentially divisive should probably be removed. You want to come across as positive, professional, and consistent.
Limit Your Accounts
The term “active on social media” doesn’t mean having an account on every platform that’s out there. Instead, just use a few and use them well. Keep them up-to-date, relevant, and sophisticated. The biggies are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, but also consider using any that are heavily touted in your industry.
Use Your Real Name
It’s fun to pick a clever handle or nickname when you create your social media profiles, but it’s best to use your real name so hiring managers and anyone else trying to search for you online can easily find your profile.
Use it to Network
Your social media accounts should just be jumping off points. Use them to then link to any other projects you’ve worked on, your personal website, your blog, or anywhere else they can learn more about you. As you accumulate, “friends” and online contacts, remember that these digital communications are fine at the beginning, but to really connect with someone, you need to schedule in-person meetings—think coffee or lunch—and have real conversations.
Compose Industry-Relevant Posts
As you craft your personal brand, start writing posts that are relevant to current events in your industry. Share articles, blogs, or videos that might be of interest to colleagues and prospective employers. You want to seem like someone who’s passionate about your job and industry and always looking to learn more and improve. “Like” posts from companies that you’re interested in and use social media to dig into those companies a bit deeper. Get to know some of their more prominent employees, their mission statement, and their recent news.
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