A staggering 44% of the world’s population is active on social media. On average, each person spends 116 minutes a day on various social media accounts. Why not put those accounts to work for you in your job search?
Believe it or not, your social media accounts can make or break your job search. Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring different social media platforms and the best way to use them to find the next step in your career. First, let’s go over some general social media tips.
Recruiters and hiring managers will be searching for you by name, so make sure you can be found. Also, your real name is much more professional than “foxyflutterbye” or “mistercool82.” (Tip: This goes for your email address as well.)
There can be too much of a good thing. It’s better to have consistently updated accounts on one or two platforms than to have one on every platform that you can’t keep up with. LinkedIn is the best platform for business connections. Most people have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account as well. Take a look at what people in your industry belong to—for example, Behance is a sharing platform for creatives.
Clean Up Your Act
Whether your account is private or not, sometimes information gets out. It’s best to remove any profanity, alcohol or drug use, or other offensive content from your photos and discussions. Going one step further, remove any political or otherwise divisive content that can turn off an employer.
Keep It Classy
Make sure your photo is recent, professional, and only of yourself. If you need examples, look into what others in your industry are posting as their profile pictures.
Consistency Is Key
Use the same name (down to your middle initial), photo, and summary across all of your social media accounts. This is also called developing your personal brand.
Lead Them Somewhere
It’s a good idea to have more information about yourself somewhere apart from your social media accounts. A blog, website, or portfolio will allow you to explain more complex projects and showcase more information. You’ll control the narrative that you want employers to follow and set the tone for an upcoming interview. Link back to your social media accounts from this site as well.
Advertise Your Location
Now that you’ve put all this work into your online presence, include your accounts on your resume. People are going to try to find you anyway, so save them some time and direct that search to where you want it to be.
Do not contact your potential employer, hiring manager, interviewer, or anyone else via social media. LinkedIn is the only acceptable place to contact someone from the company, but even then it’s best to just stay away. If you want to follow up from your interview, send a brief email to the address provided on the interviewer’s business card—and then hope for that call back!
Next week: How to Market Yourself on LinkedIn