If you are a bit half-hearted about the whole Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn thing, think carefully. In the same way you wouldn’t go to an interview without looking up and researching the people you are going to meet, potential employers can and absolutely WILL be checking you out too.
It’s not just about creating a first impression, but also ensuring you don’t blow your chances. For example, your beautifully crafted CV might say you want to be a pharmacist, but if your social media profile is all about your plans to set up your own upholstery business or disappear off travelling for 12 months, you are less likely to get the pharmacy job you just applied for. No matter how brilliant your academic background, if your social image is poor companies are not likely to want to be associated with you. According to Press Room, more than half of employers today have found content on social media which caused them not to hire a candidate. It also shows that 70% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process, 49% check up on current employees, as well as 34% having reprimanded or fired an employee based on content found online.
On the plus side, used correctly and responsibly, social media platforms can help you stand out from the crowd and enhance your professional image.
Here are some tips:
- Use the same profile image across all networks. Consistency is key; the more you look the same in feeds across sites, the more you’ll stay in people’s minds.
- Delete any unwise posts and bad photos. Think, ‘Would I want an employer to see this?’ and review tags regularly.
- Make sure you are discovered in searches by finding out what people search for when looking for professionals in your sector and mirror the keywords.
- Fill in all the fields in your profile so that you appear professional and committed, rather than not bothered and lazy.
- Build your social trust by asking past and present colleagues and clients for reviews, endorsements and recommendations. Write recommendations for others too, without them having to ask.
- Write clearly, succinctly and in the first person. This is your chance to showcase your career highlights and ability to communicate.
- Make yourself contactable. Add links to your other social profiles, website and contact details. Then test those links.