If you’re looking for a job, you should use every tool you can.
Social media makes it possible to develop and market a comprehensive personal brand. But it also makes it essential that you do so. Recruiters and hiring managers will Google you right away, and you want to be sure to have a strong social media presence.
It does take effort, of course. But one thing that should motivate you to get going is knowing that your competitors are already building their online brands.
Not only will potential employers get to know how thoughtful and technology-savvy you are, but also you will be creating assets that will transcend your current position and allow you to establish yourself as an authority in your field. And that will help you excel at the job you get.
Build Your Brand Online
Carefully craft your brand – Your goal is to craft a brand that reflects your ideals and gives employers assurance that you are going to be a capable, and professional employee. It bears repeating: you should not post anything online that might reflect badly on you. That includes pictures on Facebook that you might share only with your close network. You never know if a recruiter has access to see those pictures. If someone tags you in pictures that are not flattering, then make sure untag yourself.
It takes time to be great – You will not be a thought leader in your industry on social media right away so be aware that it will take time. Allow yourself between 30 minutes to an hour a day just to get started. Use tools such as HootSuite to aggregate all your social media accounts in one dashboard so you know what’s going on. You can also use it to schedule messages.
Go beyond the surface – Try to avoid just doing perfunctory updates and not really putting in the effort. If you want to have a strong presence on social media, then engage with followers, thought leaders, and provide value to your audience. Depending on your industry, you may want to put your portfolio online or create a video resume.
Search engine benefits – When a recruiter searches for you online, and these days I’m sure they will, then the social media channels you’re active on will usually come up at the front of the search results. By being active on social media, you actually clean up your brand, that is, you will be ensuring that recruiters see positive, career-related links at the top of the search results–and not just your time in the last triathlon or a photo of you vacationing with your girl friend.
Pick a place to get started – Pick one social media channel to get started on and try it out for a few months. Once you get a good handle on it then move onto the next one. Personally, my favorite social media channels are LinkedIn and Twitter. That’s because LinkedIn is very business focused and many professionals are on it, and Twitter allows you to broadcast your thoughts in bite sized pieces and become an authority in your space.