Social media is probably the best tool that you can use these days when job hunting. Actually, when I was applying for my first job in the marketing and advertising industry, after college graduation, some companies requested that I include social media in my application. It was requested that I did not send them a traditional resume; rather they preferred my cover letter in the body of my email and a link to my public LinkedIn profile. This makes sense since I was applying for a position in an ever-changing industry. This type of application would showcase the applicants who were using the newest and best tools.
Usually, when you think of an online professional network the first platform that comes to mind is LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is undeniably an excellent resource, blogs and Twitter can be great tools as well.
There are quick changes that you can make to all your social media profiles that help portray your professional image.
- Remove (not just un-tag) any unflattering or inappropriate pictures.
- Delete any posts, tweets, shares, etc., which contain inappropriate or offensive language.
- Remove any affiliation with a person or group in which you may be questioned about by future employers.
In addition to making the above changes to your personal profiles, I recommend doing a few searches on Google to see what comes up (what a future employer would see if they “Googled” you).
The most valuable thing to remember when building your personal online brand, specifically across multiple platforms, is to maintain consistency. You cannot be interested in every industry, instead try to highlight your strengths when creating a professional social media presence.
If you going to join a LinkedIn group, blog, or tweet make sure that all posts are connected and relevant to your industry. If you join 50 groups on LinkedIn, each with a different topic, you may come off as indecisive or unfocused to a potential employer. Joining groups based around a similar topic will portray drive and focus.
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Keeping the information in both the experience and specialties sections up-to-date is particularly important, because potential employers can view your public profile at any point. In addition, I recommend rewriting your summary section to include keywords that correspond with your industry and expertise.
Blogging is a powerful tool to increase your professional online image. It can increase the likelihood of quality content (specifically related to you) appearing first in search results. However, this is only positive if you pick the correct topic. If you are applying for a job in the print media industry, blogging about your love for homemade juice is not going to help your professional image. Rather, blog about the industry you are in, or are interested in entering. However, do not pick too specific of a topic, because it will be difficult to come up with new posts. Blogging about your industry will highlight your expertise to the world, and even prepare you for future interview questions.
When blogging about your industry, always include your own insights about the topic and trends, as well as offer suggestions to your readers. In your profile, display your creative and deductive skills, along with your knowledge of the industry.
Twitter is becoming one of the big job “search engines” for both job seekers and companies looking for skilled employees. Companies are tweeting job listings more regularly, and professionals are searching for ways to stand out in the sea of tweets. The best way to make your tweets stand out on Twitter is by using Hashtags.
Hashtags specific to your industry
Hashtags specific to your social media profiles
Hashtags about your qualifications
General Job Search Hashtags
Above all, make sure that your Tweets are relevant, appropriate, and informative. The goal of your tweets is to highlight your skills and create a conversation with future employers.