Getting Social to Get Spotted
At this point, you’re probably using your social media to chat to friends, keep up with the Kardashians and watch funny videos of cats. But what if we told you you could be using it to land your dream job? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram – these are all unique opportunities for you to create a powerful first impression for potential employers.
The average person reportedly spends more than two hours per day on social media. Combine this with the fact that 80% of HR teams use social media for sourcing new staff and you’re left with a pretty obvious conclusion: Use your online presence to further your career.
Taking your already existing accounts, you can fine tune your descriptions, carefully craft your content, and come up with simple strategies to engage with the right people. The aim of this article is to give you an insight into how you can successfully do this.
Avoiding bad practice
Let’s start with the obvious. When you look at your Facebook profile, what message are you conveying? It is becoming increasingly commonplace for employers to search candidates’ profiles online and presumably the last thing you want them to see is the infamous picture from that night out. At the broadest level, you should:
- Be wary of what language you are using. Making offensive, derogatory remarks and swearing are not skills many employers are searching for.
- Google your name. What appears? If your name is leaving a less than desirable trail, clean it up.You can also keep tabs on yourself by setting up a free Google alert for your name.
- Consider making your profile private. If there are holiday snaps you don’t want to be seen, don’t allow them to be seen.
- Pay attention to grammar. While no employer is going to proof-read your Facebook statuses, they will recognise a total disregard for the English language.
Getting actively noticed
Now that we’ve got that awkward part out of the way, we can move on to really making an impression.
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” – Christine Comaford-Lynch
Social media is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. It’s all about balancing your professional and personal life. Employers neither expect you to abstain from having fun, nor do they expect you to talk about work 24/7. What they are looking for is personality. Share interesting content and demonstrate your passion where possible.
With over 90 million members worldwide, this will be one of your greatest assets when it comes to attracting potential employers. Established for the purpose of making business connections, it is the perfect forum to demonstrate your knowledge and experience within your industry.
When it comes to creating your profile, originality is key. Just as your CV has to stand out from the crowd, your LinkedIn profile should do the same. Here are some initial tips:
- Avoid overused buzzwords such as “passionate” and “driven”.
- Ask former employers for recommendations and friends for endorsements.
- Keep it up to date with your latest roles and skills.
- Follow companies you want to do business with – this way you’ll be the first to know when there are any vacancies.
- It’s important to remember LinkedIn is MORE than just a paper resumé; take advantage of tools such as videos and presentations to enhance your profile.
- Research companies and their connections – you never know who might be able to introduce you.
- Join groups; not only are they a hub of activity, they are often the first port of call for recruiters.
Twitter offers a rare opportunity for individuals to connect with their favourite brands, personal heroes, and prospective employers. Using it you can engage with a range of influential contacts and create for yourself your own personal following. This not only demonstrates to employers that you’re tech-savvy (an increasingly important skill), but also gives the impression that you are essentially worth following. To get started, try the following:
- Retweet and engage with relevant people from your industry.
- Direct Message anyone you think might be able to lead you in the right direction.
- Use Lists in to keep your contacts in order.
- Follow and communicate with employees from your target companies – they’re much more likely to engage with you than official accounts.
- Create a bio that stands out. With only 160 characters, it’s important to be both brief and interesting.
- Don’t give up and remember the 3 T’s: Twitter Takes Time.
One of the greatest ways to set yourself apart online from other candidates is to blog, especially if it’s in reference to the industry you’re trying to get ahead in. Even outside your blog subject, the act of blogging in itself implies a number of important skills. It shows dedication and initiative. It demonstrates a capacity to manage your own projects. It indicates your ability to communicate with an audience. Using a site like WordPress, you can easily set up your own blog and once your blog is in full swing, you can then share your content across your social media.
Personal branding is becoming increasingly important in today’s competitive job market. It offers individuals the opportunity to get discovered in, what is becoming, a very deep talent pool. Like anything, achieving an impressive online profile takes time and energy but if you follow these guidelines, you\’ll be well on your way to becoming discovered.
If you’re on the look out for some exciting new career opportunities, specifically within the legal sector, Hunter Savage can provide you with the support and contacts you need to make it happen. Get in touch with our expert team today.