Getting noticed in today’s job market is becoming significantly more difficult: competition is fierce, and the sheer number of applicants makes it increasingly difficult to stand out. While there are many important components of your job search, such as the perfect resume and the first interview, many candidates overlook one key component.
Social media is a powerful tool for creating your personal brand, researching your potential employers, and interacting with industry leaders. Following the simple steps below will allow you to harness the power of social media during your next job search.
Clean Up Your Act
We’ve written extensively on social media mistakes, but it all boils down to this: before you begin making connections or interacting with others in your chosen industry, be sure your social media platforms are representative of your potential as a prospective employee. If your tweets are laden with profanity and your Facebook wall is plastered with photos from last week’s raging party, you may have some work cut out for you. Privacy controls exist for a reason, namely, to block certain viewers from content you’re not willing to share. Be sure yours are carefully administered, if necessary. Or, to be on the safe side, avoid posting compromising content to begin with.
If you would prefer to keep your personal life separate from your professional life (not an unusual approach), then consider maintaining separate profiles for each purpose. However, be aware that a simple Google search may turn up both accounts, depending on your privacy settings.
Now that your social media accounts are free of any questionable content, you’re ready to begin adding value. The most important platform in this step is your LinkedIn profile, which will serve as a landing page for potential connections and employers. Be sure your profile picture is up to date and professional, your job history is complete and current, and your relevant skills are a testament to your talents and competencies. Reconnect with prior employers and coworkers to request recommendations or endorsements, and don’t be afraid to post quality, industry-related content from time to time.
Posting quality content is especially important on Twitter, which lends itself to communication between industry influencers and thought leaders. Follow the influencers in your industry to stay informed of the latest trends, and don’t be afraid to tweet at them if you appreciated an article they wrote or found their advice valuable. You may just get a response or a retweet!
We’ve said it before: hashtags are an excellent way to take your job search to a new level. Whether its on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Tumblr, hashtagging allows you to connect with larger topics and conversations. They are also easily searched by potential employers and industry leaders. For a complete list of relevant job search hashtags, check out our recent blog.
Pro Tip: Whatever you post on social media is public content, meaning current employers or coworkers will likely be able to see your profile as well. Be sure you aren’t tweeting and posting about your job search — without proper privacy controls — if you have not informed your current employer of your intentions.
Remember, hiring managers today have access to much more than your resume. Spending a few moments to ensure the quality of your social media presence may be the key to ensuring your job search success!