Social media is officially part of your job profile and personal brand. It’s a key part of our modern existence and it’s difficult to escape not having a presence.
It’s true that many people avoid it altogether to avoid getting caught out by employers for “behaving inappropriately” and having their social life under scrutiny, which is one way of dealing with it and we totally understand why.
On the other hand, you can use social media platforms to your advantage and see them as an opportunity to develop and build your own personal brand. By using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. you could build up a persona that makes you more attractive to employers not less.
as a rule…
It’s best not to post any inappropriate pictures on your pages, and to set your “tag” settings to private so that you do not find yourself “tagged” in images that you would prefer your employer didn’t see. Of course, it isn’t a crime to have images of you enjoying yourself, but it also doesn’t look very professional to have every photograph on Google images of you with a drink in your hand. If you want to use your social media to share fun photos with friends make sure you have set your photos to private.
You may see Facebook and Twitter as great ways to interact with friends and family but they also form part of your brand, as they are still the biggest platforms in the world of social media. It’s OK to have a personal side on these platforms, but it can also be a good idea to post relevant courses and news articles that relate to your future job. This will highlight your dedication to the industry and looks great when intertwined with a healthy personal life. It’s also important to be cautious when posting opinions on these channels, if they are too polarised or controversial, be aware that they might have a negative impact on your job application.
LinkedIn may not be the biggest social media channel, but it is the most popular when it comes to recruitment and human resources. Make sure your profile picture and your tagline is professional, but most importantly re-assess the content of your profile page. LinkedIn profiles work as online CVs and career trackers, and anything you post, share and write about can be used to form part of your employee brand. It’s a great idea to be active on topics you care about and in discussions on LinkedIn, this shows employers your passions and commitment to the industry you want to work in. A concise and informative background summary is also crucial for employers, here’s an example of a great one:
With over 8 years of Sales experience I’m skilled in matching not only qualifications, but also culture. My degree in Social Sciences contributes to my passion for making meaningful connections, learning about your company and finding the perfect candidate for your vacancy.
For more tips and advice on building your online brand check out "personal branding: 7 ways to build yours and use it to score your next job".