It may well be that you frequently use Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know about your likes and interests. You may also rely on a basic LinkedIn profile. But have you ever seriously considered the benefits of using your everyday online activities to give a boost to your career and impress prospective employers?
The truth is very few people do it and use the power of their social media profiles as a calling card for prospective employers. But employers are increasingly discovering your online profile, and using it as a means to better understand you. Below we offer a few tips as to how you can maximize your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to pull opportunity towards you.
Treat your social media profiles as an extension of your resume
Your Facebook and Twitter social media profiles offer a unique opportunity to go further than the mere professional accomplishments of your resume. They give an insight in to your world on a more personal level. However despite this obvious benefit, there is no reason why your social accounts cannot combine the best of both personal and professional worlds. Think about interspersing your day-to-day lifestyle posts with more professional milestones, and start leveraging the incredible reach of these platforms.
Talk about and post links to a particular conference that you are attending; focus on any important presentations you might have been part of; mention any recent awards you’ve been given. And don’t limit it to just professional work. Any outside activities that are close to your heart such as participation/organization of a charity event will reflect well on you. All of these help potential employers to get a better feel for you as a person while learning more about you.
Maximize your LinkedIn page
LinkedIn has become increasingly powerful as an online professional networking tool. But often, users are very casual in the way they present their professional achievements on the site. Don’t be lazy and just copy and paste your resume information on to the site. Use the unique formatting options that LinkedIn provides, such as clear-cut headlines and sub-headings. You really want to optimize your values and achievements so they stand out for prospective employers.
Edit your resume content so that your headlines are attention grabbing. Review the order of your job history and make sure previous employment is listed in a crisp format and doesn’t drag on. And those personal and professional recommendations are important to include.
Use LinkedIn’s multimedia functions
LinkedIn allows you to add videos, documents, and photographs to your account. Use them to your benefit wherever you can. Put up a presentation clip, particularly one you know you have done a good job on. Add pictures that are relevant to your work. If you have a short video clip that, put it up there. In short, be creative with these features as they can immeasurably boost your profile.
Build and expand your network
Don’t just limit your “friending” activities to friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends etc. Be proactive about searching out organizations you admire, connecting with senior level employees and HR representatives. Feel free to make informed, intelligent comments on any particular content they pose, with the emphasis on “informed: and intelligent! You should never leave any comment that may be construed as negative. Use the opportunity to introduce yourself on an informal basis wisely. It’s called “Social Media” not “Anti-Social Media” for a reason!
Perform a “content edit” across all your Social accounts
It might seem obvious but if you are planning to move in to the job market, it’s well worth it. That Pinterest photo that seemed a good idea at the time might not look quite so flattering in a professional context! It’s easy to control your own output on Facebook, but if you allow your friends to post on your Timeline or tagged photos to appear, perhaps there are one or two that could judiciously be hidden from sight. This “content edit” is something you should get in to the habit of doing once a month. It takes no time and could make all the difference.
Presenting yourself through through the proper use of social media profiles is a powerful addition to your job-seeking arsenal. Remember, it is an extension of you and it should always reflect the persona you want to project to the outside world.