More than half of employers check out a potential employee’s social media accounts prior to extending an offer, and while there are thousands of article.s outlining what not to do on social media, very few articulate how you can proactively support your employment candidacy with your presence on social networks. As Vala Afshar, CMO of Entrasys, is fond of saying, “in the social era, the web is your CV,” so there’s no time to waste in making your social media presence a core component of your job hunting strategy. Here’s how you can get started.
- Follow the company and executive team on Twitter. The best job candidates familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of their prospective employers, so following both the company’s account and any core executives on Twitter is a great way to understand what’s top of mind for them, to find out how they market their business, and to get a bit more context on the company’s culture.
- Shape your story. If you’re currently applying or interviewing for a role, chances are you’ll only have a few hours in person to demonstrate what you know about a given area or topic. Whether you are trying to land an accounting position or a marketing role, chances are you can articulate your knowledge on the core skill set required and leverage social media to share it. Craft a personal blog entry that illustrates your insight with examples from your experience and promote it on your social networks. Doing so demonstrates your ability to write well while simultaneously supporting your interview with concrete evidence of your knowledge base.
- Keep your profiles current. Set a monthly reminder in your calendar to update your social channels and your resume. Employers expect your credentials and public presence to reflect your current role, experience and education, so don’t miss out on opportunities to get their attention. Whether you completed a new certification, received an internal award for customer service or started a foreign language class, your followers, friends and connections should know. It may just be the skill you need to qualify for a brand new job posting. As a result, ensure your contact information, photo, education, skills, relevant experience and current city are all reflected on your active social networks, and update those that aren’t on a monthly basis.
- Don’t underestimate your friends. People often ignore Facebook as an employment brand channel because many people relegate the information they share to their “friends.” However, your connections on Facebook can be powerful referral sources when it comes to the job hunt. Don’t be afraid to use your social networks to solicit advice, introductions or references, and make sure that each of your channels reflects the professionalism and personality required for your dream role.
- Give as much as you get. When it comes to job hunting, there’s nothing more annoying than people who are constantly asking for help or advice without offering to assist others. Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media expert and CEO of Vayner Media. With more than 990,000 followers, he is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter, and yet he frequently asks his network, “what can I do to help you?” It’s an example we should all follow–share open job opportunities from your company with your social media connections and offer to talk with individuals seeking employment in your field. Your generosity will be repaid when you’re seeking out an opportunity you care deeply about down the line.
Landing your dream job is often highly competitive and requires every resource you have to support your candidacy. Instead of viewing social media as a net potential negative to your personal brand, identify the ways your social media accounts can augment your networking and interviewing processes. Follow the five steps above to jumpstart the process, and you’ll be en route to your dream job in no time.