Getting Your Social Media Profiles Ready for a Job Hunt
Used correctly, Social Media is an effective job hunting tool. The key to success is creating an impressive professional image that captures the attention of potential employers. With the right combination of social media profiles and activity, you’ll gain an edge over your competition and build your professional brand.
Use the Right Channels
As social media evolves, new tools are released almost daily. Avoid the temptation to try every new application and spreading your efforts too thin. Instead, focus your job hunting efforts on these tried and tested social media staples.
- LinkedIn. Arguably the most trusted social network for business people, LinkedIn gives you space to create an extensive professional profile and network with other people. You can add your complete resume, experience profile, education history, links to websites and more. LinkedIn is often used by recruiters to headhunt ideal employees, so be sure to sign up and create a LinkedIn profile as part of your job hunting campaign.
- Facebook Business Pages. Facebook is usually associated with personal communications between friends and family, but you can also create a Business page. Sometimes called a Fan page, you can set up a Facebook Business page to represent your professional services. Include your profile, website links, photos and contact information. You can also build a network of followers. The network grows as people “like” your page.
- Twitter. Job hunters can use Twitter to reach out to prospective employers. Using hash (#) tags such as #jobs or #jobsearch (amongst others), you can identify yourself as a job seeker. In addition, Twitter allows you to create a profile page with a brief professional description and link to your website.
- Discussion Forums. Choose discussion forums in your professional niche. After joining a forum, set up your forum signature. You will usually be given space to include your name and contact information, often with a link to your website. Gain respect and become an industry expert by contributing valuable discussion to the forum, asking and answering questions.
- Your Own Blog. A blog gives you a fantastic opportunity to showcase your knowledge, write about your experiences and establish yourself as an authority in your field. You can also use your blog as a landing page for links from other profiles. For example, you can link your forum signatures, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles to your master blog.
Before you build your profiles on the above social networks, give consideration to your personal brand. Branding yourself begins with creating a similar look and feel across each of your social network profiles.
- Your photo. Use the same photograph as your profile picture across all your social business networks. A good photo helps build rapport with people who read your social media profile. You can also visit www.gravatar.com to assign your photo to a global avatar, or Gravatar. Your Gravatar is an icon that gets displayed next to comments you make on other people’s blogs. It brands your comments and makes you instantly identifiable when people scan a web page.
- Your user name. Where possible use the same or similar username across all your networks. Standardizing your username allows you to create easy to remember URLs for your social profiles. For example, Bob C. Smith’s URLs might be:
A good place to research available profile names across many different social media sites is the www.knowem.com website.
- Your tagline. Create a tagline or catch phrase you can include on all your social network profiles. For example, a tagline for an accountant could be something as simple as “Specialist in Tax Accounting. Contact me today.” By including such a tagline on all your profile pages, you create a way for people to instantly recognise what you do.
Begin by gathering all the information you’d like to make available on the Internet, such as your photo and resume. Don’t create your profiles in a rush. Instead, take time to create in-depth profiles with solid, persuasive information. Complete one before you move to the next social media tool.
Once you have created your profiles, commence your social media activity. Start by posting status updates and tweeting on a regular basis. If you’re actively looking for a job, you should be aiming to tweet or update your status at least twice per day. If you have a blog, write regular blog posts sharing your experiences and insights into your profession. You can link to your blog post in your tweets and status updates.
The next step is to grow your network. Follow people in your industry and invite prospective employers into your network. As your level of social media activity increases, you will naturally attract followers. On Twitter and Facebook, you can connect with your followers by following them back. On LinkedIn, you can add people to your list of contacts.
Landing a Job
Your professional profiles work two ways to land your dream job. First, as a tool for reaching out to prospective employers and researching unadvertised job opportunities. Secondly, as a point of attraction for recruiters, designed to impress employers both before and after you apply for a job.
Create your social media presence early in your job search. Don’t leave it until the last minute. When a recruiter “Googles” your name, you want be sure you look good.
Visit our Careers Resources section for articles related to your job search.