Alongside presenting a high quality and professional CV, another aspect to consider is your social media presence. Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or are always keen to hear about new contract opportunities, making sure your social media presence portrays you in a flattering light is really important. If you’re someone that a hiring manager has expressed an interest in, they will likely search for you on social media. So, it’s really worth putting some time aside to assess how effective your social profiles really are.
Which sites work best?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question, as everyone has different interests or may feel different platforms align better with their personality or career aspirations. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for growing your professional network, and the first one recruiters will search for you on. Twitter is a great platform for sharing your opinion and weighing in on topics. Many ‘cutting-edge’ and innovative companies will have a big Twitter presence themselves; however more established and corporate businesses may only use Twitter sparingly. Instagram is very visuals and design-focussed so would serve creatives and designers well – and we’ve also seen a rise in companies using Instagram ads to share news about vacancies. Facebook – perhaps because of the privacy settings and how it has traditionally been used in the past – seems to have been kept as a largely personal social network. While we have seen companies and individuals experiment in using Facebook to network, it hasn’t yet become the standard.
We recommend conducting your own search of relevant industry keywords on social media platforms, and seeing the kind of profiles and companies that emerge at the top of the results list. Take a look at how they’ve worded their bios and anything else that might make them stand out. Whether you have 50 or 5,000 followers, you can enhance the likelihood of being found by the right people by ensuring you’re using all the right words to describe yourself. In addition, it’s good practice to join relevant groups and take part in – or lead – discussions too. The more discussions you start or contribute to, the more likely it is you’ll get noticed. On LinkedIn, joining groups will also expand your network and create ‘ins’ with people you might want to contact – as the website makes it obvious when you have a group in common with someone.
Presenting a consistent persona
If you’ve sent your CV in for an open position, chances are that the recipient will want to check out your LinkedIn profile to see if you have any recommendations from ex-managers, or if you’ve note down any additional information online. It is, therefore, really important to make sure the dates and job titles on your CV/website and LinkedIn match up so there’s no confusion. It’s also a good idea to post the same content across different channels, or to link between them. For instance, if you’ve put up a photo of a brainstorm wall on Instagram, why not share it on Twitter and LinkedIn too?
Presenting yourself professionally
We’d also recommend taking a moment to assess your profile photos. A mark of a successful brand is strong, recognisable imagery, so use the same image across several platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, your website, your portfolio websites) to enhance ‘personal brand continuity’ – that is, where people begin to associate your photo with your name and are more likely to remember you.
Despite all of this, we’re not saying that you need to be open to scrutiny on all of your social media profiles. You may like to keep your Facebook ‘friends-only’ for instance. Just make sure that your security options are set so strangers can’t see beyond the basics.
If you do decide to keep your social profiles public however, realise the potential social media can have in giving you the edge over the competition. Make sure you know your platforms well and post consistently between them, keep your information and bios up to date, professional and accurate, and join the discussion online to best elevate your profile and make you stand out to recruiters beyond what that of a CV can achieve alone. Your social media presence can make all the difference.
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