Employers use social media to recruit potential employees and to research candidates, usually before scheduling interviews. This is why creating a strong online presence and understanding how to use social media to your advantage are important parts of your strategy.
Develop your online persona
Building a positive online reputation is an ongoing effort. Here are some ways to use popular social media networks and other tools to your advantage:
LinkedIn connects you to employers and people in your field. It’s also a place where you can find out about job opportunities.
- Make sure your profile is complete
- Ensure your profile is as public as possible. Employers have a better chance of finding you
- Use a professional-looking headshot
- Edit your header to reflect a compelling professional statement about you
- Write a professional summary that catches attention. Highlight your skills and specialties
- List your education, plus honours and awards
- List recent positions related to your field
- Include co-ops, co-curricular experiences and volunteer work, especially if you have limited related work experience
- Ideally, have one or two recommendations per position
- Get endorsements for your skills. Tip: People are more likely to endorse you if you endorse them
- When you meet new people, ask if you can connect on LinkedIn. Ask for introductions to contacts in their network that are related to your field
- Link to your website, blog, Twitter feed, portfolio, presentations, etc.
- Join associations and groups
Twitter connects you with employers in real time.
- In your profile, consider using your full name as your Twitter handle – it will make you more identifiable
- Follow people and companies that interest you. Companies tweet their latest information and some post jobs
- Follow people in your field to learn about their career backgrounds
- Get noticed! Tweet the latest information about your field
Facebook is also used by companies to post jobs, promote events, and relay company information.
- “Like” organizations in your field
- Join discussions on company pages
- If you have a Facebook account, screen your profile for questionable content
- You may also choose to adjust your settings to make your profile completely private, ensuring that people outside of your network cannot view your profile
Video and infographic resumés
Stand out from the crowd with a one- or two-minute video resumé or catchy infographic. Make sure your industry accepts them. Create a personal website and name it after yourself. Place your video resumé and infographic there and then link to your site on your LinkedIn profile. Get creative!
Catch an employer’s eye by writing about your area of interest, expertise or the latest information about your industry. This demonstrates your engagement, your communication skills and how you organize information. The most effective blogs have a unique, authoritative voice and clear topics.
- Popular blogging sites include Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr
- Post a few times a week, so people can engage regularly with new content
- Join groups
- Apply for blog awards
- Link to other blogs to increase your reputation
Maximize your time online
There are many ways that you can use social media for career exploration and job search. Here are a few tips to maximize your time online:
Be active — use a range of social media platforms
Build your credibility — thoughtful tweeting, blogging, and commenting boosts your online reputation
Promote yourself — join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow Twitter accounts related to your field of interests. Get to know other people by contributing to discussions and engaging in conversation
Learn about your field — connect with industries, companies, and professionals that interest you
Search for jobs — many organizations use social media to post jobs. Employers may tweet about jobs or post advertisements to Facebook. LinkedIn has a job search feature, and LinkedIn groups also post available positions
Update content regularly — make sure your profiles are current
Buy a domain name and create a professional website — it’s a great place to consolidate all your social media profiles in one place. Ideally, your domain name should be your full name