If you’re searching for a career change or looking for your dream job, it’s understandable that you feel tired scrolling through job board after job board and seeing the same old posts, day in, day out. Even if you have already applied for a vacancy, statistics show that by 2020, over 95% of employers will check their potential candidate’s social media profiles before contacting them for an interview.
Consider your social media profile, would you hire yourself? Unfortunately, many people would probably say no. Today, we’ll explore some ways you can take control of social media to use it your advantage in the world of job seeking.
Creating a Personal Brand
Before you apply for any more vacancies, take a step back and analysis your social media profiles. If it’s filled up with photos from your night’s out on the town, posts of you slating your old colleagues and your old workplace, chances are a potential employer is immediately going to dismiss your application. It’s true, we spend the majority of our time working, so we might as well work in a job that we love doing. To obtain this job, you’ll need to transform your social media profiles into a shining online resume that your future employers will love.
To do this, you’ll need to imagine that you are a business. In some sense, you are. You’re providing a service to that company. Every large social media platform is highly innovative, and you’ll soon discover that you can get really creative. As a brief example, if you’re a graphic designer, get creative with your Facebook profile cover and profile picture. Use every opportunity to show off your skills.
Research Your Desired Company
Social media networks also give you the unique opportunity to research the company you may be applying for. The majority of companies, both large scale and small, will have some kind of profile. Ensure that you visit these pages to see what kind of content they are posting. This will give you a unique insight into what the company stands for, the language they use, the company culture and what the company’s priorities are. This will enable you to realign your priorities to match, giving you the best chance at securing the job. Other job seeker websites, such as Monster, will actively allow you to search for companies, giving you an insight into their culture as well as displaying what vacancies they currently have open.
Understand What Employees Are Looking
According to Forbes, over 34% of employers didn’t hire somebody because of something they found on their social media profiles. This included evidence of drug use, proof of poor communication skills and offensive or abusive comments. Always remember that once you have submitted a CV or resume to a company, they can continue to check your profiles. They can even do so after your interview and even when you’re employed so always be careful with what you are posting and how you may be portraying yourself. You’ll want to analysis all your social media profiles as you never know what they are going to check. This includes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Taking Control: LinkedIn
Easily the largest professional platform in the world, LinkedIn is renowned for being the Facebook of the business world. Chances are when you’re applying for a job, especially a professional role, your potential employer will check to see whether you have a LinkedIn profile. If you do, but don’t use it, now is the time to do so.
There are several ways you can improve and optimise your LinkedIn profile. Firstly, choose your headline carefully. Ensure it makes an impact on your potential employers. Secondly, one of most commonly overlooked features of LinkedIn, the biography. Be clear about what career you are looking to pursue as well as information on where you are currently living. You’ll also be able to include information on your hobbies, your accomplishments and your achievements. Writing about yourself can be difficult at the best of times, let alone for a social media network. Writing websites, such as State of Writing, will provide you with writing rules and guidelines to enable you to make the most impact in your content.
Furthermore, you can research your competition. Sign up to groups and follow pages that have similar people to where you want to be. Look for the most successful and see what they have done to their profiles to make themselves stand out from the crowd, allowing them to be where they are today. Finally, ensure you follow the companies in the industry that you want to enter. This will allow you to keep up with current trends, allowing you to build on your knowledge of the industry.
Taking Control: Facebook
The second most important social media platform is, of course, Facebook. Now, as you’ve read above, Facebook is a very personal platform and really goes into detail when it comes to your life. When you analysis your profile, many people are surprised and how much about their lives are actually readily available online. To eliminate the negative effects of this, there are a couple of things you can do.
Firstly, create a second profile. This will be your professional Facebook page. In fact, it’s what many celebrities and leading professionals do. You can set your current, personal profile to a private setting, so employers won’t be able to have access to it. Then, with your second profile, make it readily available for your potential recruiters to browse. You can then add all the information you need an employer to see to this profile, including your CV and achievements, etc. Ensure you keep this page up to date and current.
You can go really into detail on Facebook, more than most people realise. You can include your entire work history, school and education levels to name a few. You can also personalise your biography as well as including your skills and hobbies. As with LinkedIn, use language and content that really connects with your employer and will make them say ‘wow’.
Update Your CV
Both Facebook and LinkedIn will give you the opportunities to upload your CV to the site, making it easy for your employer to access it when they want to refer to it. Ensure that this CV is up to date and is consistent with the language and format of your social media profiles. This goes back to the point of personalised branding. Website services, such as Revieweal, can take your existing resumes and CVs and turn them into high0quality documents, ideal if you don’t consider yourself a keen writer.
Rachel Summers is a freelance writer whose passion is helping students get the most out of their learning journey. She started out as a writer and journalist in the newspaper industry, before breaking out to go freelance and follow her own passions. Her writing is designed to help you get the most out of college, and beyond.