Your resume is perfectly polished and proofread. Your cover letter gives a solid introduction while highlighting your strengths. You’ve practice for your job interview and are ready to go.
All of these elements are essential to a successful job search, so you are most definitely doing the right things. But, there is one important aspect of your job search you might be neglecting: Your social media presence.
By now, you realize that social media offers more than a great place to share pictures and news with your family and friends. It’s also a powerful tool for networking and searching for jobs. But just as social media offers excellent opportunities for you to enhance your job search, it also presents an excellent opportunity for recruiters to learn more about YOU.
So what are they learning?
The information recruiters find on your social media profiles could help you land (or not land) an interview or even help you get the job. The only way to ensure it helps your job search instead of hinders it is to follow some best practices. Consider these quick top 10 social media tips for job seekers your “cheat sheet” to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward:
- Check your privacy settings. Social media sites like Facebook will almost always be about family and friends first, but that doesn’t mean recruiters aren’t researching you there. The best way to keep your personal life personal is to constantly check and update your privacy settings – especially on Facebook, where privacy settings can sometimes change frequently. They’re also not a “set it and forget it” -type element. Since Facebook is updating their policies frequently, you may be leaving personal posts and images open to the public after an update. A good rule of thumb is to check them about once a month.
- Be consistent. You may have forgotten about that old Twitter account, but you can bet recruiters are finding it when they search online for your name. If your image and bio are outdated on one profile, it could give recruiters the wrong impression. Ensure your profiles tell a complete, consistent story.
- Use a great photo. Your profile photos don’t have to be stuffy head shots (even on professional sites like LinkedIn), but they should present you in a personable, professional light. Avoid pictures with family or friends (especially the “cropped out” friend who is half visible), and keeping #2 in mind, try to use the same picture on all your social profiles.
- Complete your profiles. This is especially important on LinkedIn. If there’s a section for information about you – complete it! The more complete your profile, the better the impression you’ll make on recruiters. Added bonus: Profiles with more information tend to perform better in searches, so recruiters may end up finding and calling you about a job because they found you on LinkedIn!
- Show some balance. Online recommendations or endorsements can add real value, but be sure to focus on quality rather than quantity. Most recruiters would rather see a handful of thoughtful LinkedIn recommendations over a dozen “5-star reviews” without any details.
- Post content. A good-looking, complete profile is one thing, but to really make a good impression online, try to share relevant content. When your privacy settings permit (often on Twitter and LinkedIn, not Facebook), share articles from well-known and respected publications (Inc., Entrepreneur and Success are a good place to start) to show recruiters that you not only understand social media, but are active there. More importantly, you’ll also demonstrate some business savvy and will actually provide value for not only recruiters, but all of your connections.
- Stay positive. Recruiters can review your social media profiles at any time during the hiring process – it can often be your only chance at a first impression! Avoid positing negative content to ensure you’re making a strong impression and are presenting yourself as someone a recruiter would want to talk to during an interview. This also includes discussing past employers – it is never appropriate to post or speak negatively about any past colleagues or employers. Always stay positive on social media (and during job interviews).
- Get connected. Once you’ve set up strong social media profiles (or have updated your current profiles), be sure to build your connections. This is especially powerful on LinkedIn (and sometimes on Twitter). It is perfectly acceptable to send a request to connect to recruiters on LinkedIn.
- Be personal. While connecting with recruiters is a valuable tool in your social media arsenal, there’s one thing to keep in mind: Standing out means getting personal. Specifically, be sure to include a personal note with your request to connect (not the standard invitation text auto populated by LinkedIn). Most people do not take this extra step, so you’ll not only make a great impression, you’ll really stand out.
- Ask for feedback. The best way to know how a recruiter views your social media profiles is to ask one! Our recruiters can help you assess and improve your resume, cover letter and your social media profiles to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Building a social media presence that helps your job search isn’t difficult, but you’ll have to follow through on these steps to maximize your efforts. Here at Helpmates, we help job seekers from across Southern California to find their next job or take their careers to the next level. Search our current job openings or contact a recruiter today to learn more.