1) GO BEYOND YOUR RESUME
Traditionally, a resume and cover letter were the only tools a job seeker had to find employment. Today however, social media offers a plethora of options; enabling job seekers like never before. As social media continues to expand the way we look for work, the way we think about our careers needs to expand as well.
Our thinking needs to shift beyond that of a traditional resume and move towards viewing our careers like a personal brand. When we start to think of our careers in this way, (that is to say more like a product, complete with an identifiable brand and online social media campaign), the better equipped we become, to capitalize on the variety of ways we have to market ourselves using social media.
2) CREATING YOUR CAREER BRAND
With a variety of social media sites to choose from (the list is plentiful), it would be advisable to create a strategy for your personal 'career brand.' There is a lot of information online, where you can get a crash course in branding and effective approaches to digital marketing. You might want to check out sites like We Are Social or Canadians Internet to help you get started. Or simply do a quick search using the words 'social and media and careers' and see where that leads you. The point is, you may want to do a bit of research or reading before you start making any decisions.
When you start to think of your career as a brand, ensuring that you take advantage of every field and functionality offered by the site, is key. Consider some of these factors. Based on the profession you are in, does it make sense to be on a few specialized social media sites or is it best to be on as many as possible, for example? Are there certain social media sites that lend themselves better to your profession? How can the fields and functionality within each site help set your career brand apart?
Whatever you decide, ensure your profile is clear, professional, visually appealing and attractive to potential employers!
3) BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR CAREER BRAND
Wether you are on LinkedIn, Facebook or a combination of social media platforms, many employers are cross-leveraging these sites - not just to attract talent - but also to review a potential candidates social media behaviours'. (Think of this like an employer conducting a professional business reference, only using social media as the tool.)
As such, make sure there is consistency across ALL the social media sites you are on. For example, do the dates and details on your LinkedIn profile match with the employment dates you have listed on other sites? Does your Facebook page have photos, or public email messages that could deter or attract a possible employer to you? Do you have old or existing Twitter feeds that will positively or negatively affect your career brand?
All of it gets looked at and all of it counts! Make sure that every social media site that you are on work together to create a strong, consistent career brand.
4) CONTENT IS KEY
As technology continues to improve, so to has the functionality of social media websites. Gone are the days of being restricted to writing 500 words or less in a text box!
There is much to choose from when it comes to building your career brand and creating profile pages! Today, we have unlimited space to say almost anything we want. Plus, we have the added bonus of including graphics, photo's, videos and sharing links. Make sure to use these options...wisely. Wisely, meaning in such a way that showcases your overall career brand in it's best possible light!
First off take a look at your visuals and ask yourself: Do the photo's, graphics or images add value to your career brand or detract from it? Are your photo's clear and do they look professional across all social media platforms? Are the images, photos or videos directly relevant to the work you do and appropriate to your employment efforts?
Secondly, review the actual content and words on the page. Typically, the top half of any page inevitably attracts the human eye. What is the first thing someone will see or read? Take advantage of the fields located at the top of every profile page. Place the most important information you want to share on the top of these pages, so that it grabs the reader's attention and stands out.
If there is a employment status field for example, make sure you let recruiters and potential employers know that you are actively looking for work. Or find a way at the top of the profile page to include this information. If there is a summary section, make sure you add the most relevant and applicable skills at the top of the summary box, and so on.
When it comes to content there is genreally one overriding key principle: Always lead with your best foot forward!
5) PRIVACY MATTERS
Often times, people don't realize that recruiters and potential employers are looking for talent across a variety of social media sites. The privacy settings you have on Facebook don't always necessarily match the privacy settings you may have elected to use on LinkedIn, for example.
Privacy settings could vary from one social media platform to another. So, it's important to review ALL of your social media platforms' security and privacy options, ensuring they are set according to your personal needs.
Keep in mind, once you put something onto social media -wether it's personal or work related - it's out for public consumption. An innocent Tweet on your part, could unintentionally affect some one else's privacy and potentially your job. Be mindful not only of your own privacy, but also of how the words, content, videos' or pictures you choose to place on your social media sites, could be perceived by a potential employer or how they can affect the privacy of others.
How 'visible' you want to be on social media is a personal choice, but at the same time being accessible to potential employers is very important. The whole point of social media, is that it allows us to connect and network in broader ways. If you make it impossible for people to reach you, it defeats the whole concept. You may want to consider having a dedicated phone number or email address for example, which you can use across all your social media sites specifically for career related purposes.
Privacy matters, particularly as you build followers or connections over time. So, don't forget to strike a balance between attainability and privacy.
Inspired Staffing Inc. is a boutique executive staffing firm specialized in placing top talent into Management, Technology, Corporate and Finance positions for Fortune 500 companies. If you are a Hiring Manager in need of a staffing partner or a potential career professional looking for your next opportunity visit us online at: www.inspiredstaffing.ca