According to agency central 9 out of 10 recruiters use social media in the hiring process. This means that when you send off an application, your potential employer is checking your profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and whatever other platforms you might be on. Most of these accounts will be public by default, so if you absolutely don’t want to be found, you should adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
There are lots of articles about the things you should avoid on social media. But what about the things you should be doing to make sure employers see something they like?
While it should go without saying that you ought to avoid poor-taste jokes and profanity on social media, there are other things that you should always do when writing a new post. Number one is to make sure you use proper grammar and spelling. This can sometimes be difficult on Twitter, where the character limit can make leaving out a vowel or two very tempting. However, you never know which tweet a potential employer will see, and you don’t want anyone to think you can’t spell.
Beyond grammar, there are other stylistic choices that can make your profiles stand out. You should avoid the passive voice and keep sentences short. The idea should be to show off your writing skills in any context – the better you write on social media, the better you’ll look.
Education and work experience
While most people already include this on their LinkedIn profiles, you do have the option of putting it on your other accounts too. For instance, Facebook has a specific section for education and work, while Twitter gives you space to talk about what you’re doing currently.
Although you should include this basic information, try to keep any comments about your current job to a minimum, even positive ones. You want to make sure you’re representing your personal brand; leave the company brand to its official social media channels.
If recruiters are looking for you by name or already have your CV, it’s generally pretty easy for them to find your profiles. But what if you want to show up in even more searches?
Use keywords relating to your profession in your posts. For instance, you can display your name on Twitter as “Joe Smith Quantity Surveyor” instead of just “Joe Smith”. This will show up in more general searches and increase your chances of being headhunted.
Joining professional groups on social media is a great way to network. Those on LinkedIn are well known, but you can also join professional groups on other networks. Commenting and contributing to their discussions is a great way to show off your knowledge of the industry and get your name out there.
Talk about your industry
Most people post about the same kinds of things on social media – what they’re doing, what they’re eating, where they’re going and so on. Instead of filling your pages with cats and tacos, consider posting about what’s going on in your industry.
Employers will be impressed to see that your Facebook page or Twitter feed is full of posts about new breakthroughs or innovations you’ve come across. Even if it’s not related directly to what you do in the industry, post about it.
Follow relevant accounts
Having a lot of followers is great, but employers will also look at the people you choose to follow yourself. Search for the accounts of others in your industry and follow them – especially the companies you’re applying to. This will also ensure you’re getting industry news in your feed, making for great conversation topics during interviews.
Build your brand
Brand-building is now more important than ever, and employers will want to see that you have the skills to build your own because this will reflect your ability to contribute to a company’s status. This goes for any role, not just those in marketing or communications.
One of the easiest ways to build your brand is consistency. Use the same profile picture across all social media, keep the same information in your bios and use a distinct tone of voice for all your posts.
Pretty soon, you’ll be your own brand.