In our last blog we discussed the idea that social media is now a shop window for job seekers. Here are some more ways to make sure your online presence is working for you rather than against you.
1. Have an awareness of audience
In a world where social media is a shop window, there's an element of PR to everything we post and share. Think about your audience and act accordingly. Don't gripe about your job on any of your social media profiles, or use them to berate fellow employees, culture or management. It's so easy to flip this and instead post content that portrays you in a positive light.
2. Keep it up to date
It's an obvious point, yet so many people neglect their social profiles and have out of date contact details or bios on them. Of course, this is more significant for jobseekers who want to use their social media as part of their job search than for casual users. All social media is an in-the-moment medium, so an account without any recent updates on any platform will stand out a mile.
3. Create a blog
It's not too difficult these days to create your own blog (there's plenty of inexpensive and even free blogging software out there) in which you can create a branded platform, add a photo and share photographs or writing about subjects that inspire you. You can then share these through your social channels. If you do it carefully you can use this kind of self-marketing to build a professional portfolio, especially if you work in a creative field such as copywriting, photography, digital marketing or PR.
4. Demonstrate transferrable skills
Got your social media profiles right? Use them! Write a positive Twitter bio including any relevant skills and qualifications. If you're really confident, you can include your social profiles in your CV.
If you want to get into marketing or related creative functions, don't write yourself off if you haven't got any demonstrable professional experience. I know of a number of business studies and marketing graduates who, with little work experience, were able to evidence their grasp of social media because they'd used it to promote their own DJ nights, clubs, gatherings and so on. Through integrated and nicely laid-out social channels they had created and managed their own marketing platform for their other hobbies, in the process showing themselves to be social media whizzes as well as people with active lives and interesting hobbies.
Similarly, a web designer and photographer of my acquaintance documented a career sabbatical with a fantastic blog featuring photos from his travels across the world. This could function as a part of his portfolio as it shows both his web design and photography skills.
Even if you're not in a position to use your social media profiles as a portfolio, you can still use them to share the more achievement-based elements of your life, such as posts about volunteering, sports, community or charity work and so on. Your social media can do a lot of work for you if you think of it as a potential promotional channel. But remember the note about being authentic: don't over-egg it!
5. Ensure LinkedIn matches your CV
I know of at least one candidate who was caught out because he "upgraded" his skills on his CV and forgot to ensure his LinkedIn profile told the same story! In fact, rather a lot of people seem to get caught out this way.
The real moral of this story is, of course, don't lie!
Anybody hoping to get their dream job by exaggerating their skills, abilities and achievements can expect to catch a cold at some point during the hiring process, even if it's several months into the job when they find themselves out of their depth.
Be honest about what can you can offer. It's perfectly acceptable to edit CVs to be more specifically focused on a role provided you're still presenting the truth – just ensure that your paper CV is backed up by your digital one.
6. Be careful about connecting with interviewers
There seems to be a rise in cases of candidates inviting prospective interviewers to connect with them on LinkedIn before they've even met. While it's sensible for a candidate to glean any information they can on a company before an interview, most hiring managers will feel this is a step too far, and a little presumptuous. It all depends on context, of course – if for some reason you've had the opportunity to speak with your interviewer beforehand and they themselves have suggested you connect online, then of course go ahead.
Also, be aware that if you're connected with your colleagues or managers and they can see your activity, a suddenly spike in connections with a specific company can be perceived as a signal that you are seeking a job elsewhere. So exercise caution here and, if nothing else, make sure you use your privacy settings or account allowances as far as possible to protect your activity.
The landscape has changed significantly over the past few years and it's now a given that social media can be a shop window for candidates, who can choose to use it if they see fit. Whatever new levels of privacy European law (including GDPR) brings, why not turn your social media to your advantage in your search for a meaningful career?
For help with any aspect of job hunting, you can chat to our friendly team at 1-1 Recruitment. Contact us today!