In today’s ultra modern, uber social, very exposed world, it’s a great time to connect and show off all your skills by making a social media presence Zuckerberg would be jealous of.
Sure, whilst stuffing 38 Maltesers simultaneously into your mouth is indeed a skill - and one that should absolutely be rewarded at that - it’s not necessarily going to make a prospective employer take note. Rather the opposite.
So, in an age where social media can play a huge part in getting you that dream gig, how do you embrace this whilst making yourself as ‘employer friendly’ as possible?
1. Keep it current and accurate
Seen a dream opportunity for which your current role provides THE PERFECT experience? Now tell your LinkedIn profile. Because as far as it’s concerned, erm, you don’t.
Never has the need be so professionally transparent been so essential. There’s a whole world of exciting possibilities out there and whilst this modern marketing world is perfectly adept at making it happen, the same can be said for everyone else.
So how can you take control? Make sure your online profile is up to date and always ensure it’s representative of what you’re actually doing. Nothing says ‘unhireable’ like having to explain that no, you don’t actually deal with x, y and z client at this moment in time, that was before the restructure…”
2. Keep those fingers working
Updating your profile when a big promotion is in the works is great but don’t just keep it at that. Your online professional profile should be a routine affair, much like brushing your teeth or changing your pants.
If you really want to reap those long term rewards, keep those fingers typing. Ask for LinkedIn endorsements from friends and colleagues along the way - employers trust what these people are saying about you, just don’t ask that Dave... he'll probably end up talking about the time you awkwardly slid some confidential work info into a drunken night out chat with some girls you were chatting up - you know what he’s like.
It’s easy to just pick up and drop your social channels but if you’re as serious about your professional game as you are with your dating one, you’ll keep things moving continuously. Hey, if it’s good enough for Tinder…
3. Make that picture absolutely perfect
Yes, we mean your profile picture. Think current, professional and relevant to the industry you’re in/desperately trying to claw your way into. If you’re hosting a profile pic of you from 2002 and then rock up to an interview sporting grey highlights in what’s left of your once full head of hair, people might look at you a bit perplexed. Noone likes a Catfish… sure you may have looked better before the grey or receding hair line, but embrace you and be honest. Also it’s worth keeping it consistent across channels.
If you’re creating a corporate profile photo, it’s likely going to be a smartly attired close up, showcasing a subtle flash of abs your personality. If you’re dealing with a creative industry, you can afford to dip your toe into slightly zanier waters. Alternative takes in this regard are usually welcomed, albeit without feeling the need to showcase every piercing you’ve ever dared to collect. This isn’t Snog, Marry, Avoid.
4. Get untagging
“Jonno has just tagged you in a photo…”
If the very sight of this notification from that one particular friend injects an ungodly fear into your otherwise regular working day, it may be worth considering the magical term of ‘untagging”.
We’re not saying you can’t have fun, it’s just wise to make sure potential employers don’t see how much. Shots on your own time… and your own private social media settings.
So, how do you go about disallowing Jonno to show your employers the ultra crazy magaluf you from back in the day? Facebook has a functionality which allows you to approve photos, whilst also providing an option for untagging. Twitter also has tagging restrictions and Instagram allows you to approve photos just before they pop up on your timeline and rain all over your promotional parade.
5. Use your individual profiles to form one giant “super profile”
Well, kind of. You see, it’s all about linking. LinkedIn up to date? Yep. Facebook looking pretty good? Sure. Twitter chirping away quite nicely? Absolutely. So, what have you got? Aside from an untouchable online presence, you have an ideal opportunity for cross promotion. Duh! Yea, we’re sure you’re well aware of cross promotion - all you digi marketing boffs.
Linking your social media profiles across all channels is a powerful, yet inexpensive way to expand your marketing activity. If you have a Wordpress blog, you can utilise a plugin called Blog2Social to send content directly to your social media stream - just make sure it’s relevant.
LinkedIn allows you to add your Twitter profile and Facebook has great scope for linking other social media tabs, such as Pinterest or Instagram. Let’s put it this way, this is a chance for employers to gain a quick insight into ‘the real you’.
Note - if the real you has a tendency to partake in trout pouts and drunken moments of debauchery, park it for now. Real you can come out at the Christmas Party. Or not.
6. Dare to break the mould, a little
“Team player, but also works well without supervision. I’m always willing to go that extra mile.” NEXT.
Social media is a great tool for self promotion, which is just as well, because, HELLO, you’re great. So why oh why waste your time writing the same old summary that employers have seen again and again. We live in the digital age so embrace it! Look at your current professional situation and consider this:
- What makes me perfect for this opportunity?
- What skills do I personally bring - leave your great sense of enthusiasm or your flare for organisation at the virtual door
- What do YOU want? How will this benefit the employer?
Now, it’s important to note that whilst a sprinkling of originality will inevitably attract attention, your penchant for spoon bending #PartyTrick may not be quite what they’re looking for in this instance. Unless of course the role is specifically for a ‘cutlery manipulator’, then wahey! You’re in.
7. Be culturally relevant
Companies want to see how well you’ll fit into their environment and how well you’ll embrace their own culture. It’s a key buzzword and when you think about it, it makes sense.
Your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles are a much more accurate self portrait than any prospective employer could hope to get from normal application screening tools or generic interview questions.
Social media shows you, as you are and whilst inevitable professional tweaks are essential, you’re far less likely to keep up a constant scripted version of yourself, across all social platforms. Plus Jonno would never let you pose as something you’re not. “Cheers J, but seriously, can you keep the beer pong snaps away from Insta. There’s a fine line.”
See also: 5 tips for avoiding office drama
8. Improve your digital marketing skills
You know what they say, there’s always room for improvement and the same can be said for social media profiling.
If you’re one of those serial social media modifiers - you know the type - always getting scolded for Facebook and Instagram updating, with anyone close to you running the risk of losing an eye should they try to prise your beloved smartphone out of your frenzied hand. Well, put that steaming phone down - just for a second - and take note.
It’s super important to keep up to speed with the latest trends and show those potential employers just what kind of skills you’re gaining and in turn, what type of employee they could hope to gain. So if you have serious social media updating skills like those mentioned above, and think you could sell more than just yourself - steady - why not look at some digital selling training.
For a step by step guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile check out our recent blog.