You’re a recent college grad and it’s time to get your first “real-world” job. So exciting—and so terrifying. But don’t worry. You’ve had a secret weapon in your corner all along . . .
Good news: the social media apps and sites you love are good for your career! In fact, the most efficient way to get your name in front of potential employers is through social media. In 2014, 94% of recruiters in the United States used social media to find new talent, and this number continues to rise.
What does this mean for you? More than ever, creating and maintaining a solid social media presence is crucial to finding the right job for you. Social media is the best way to boost your exposure, woo perspective employers into hiring you, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Best of all, accomplishing these goals is easier than you think! These tips will help you get started and set up the best possible social media presence to build your personal brand.
Most employers start with a quick Google search of your name, so you should search it too. Look closely at the first page of results, and make sure that everything listed is positive—something you’d want a potential employer to find.
If you see inappropriate pictures, off-the-wall profiles, or articles that aren’t flattering, consider pulling them down if you can. You can delete bad Facebook photos, deactivate profile accounts, and message website owners asking them to take down posts about you.
If you don’t see yourself on the first page of results at all, make changing that a top priority. The easiest and most professional way is to create a LinkedIn profile and fill it up with all the positive things about you. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are all very search engine friendly, so your profiles will show up high in search engine results.
Master your online presence
Your online presence is a compilation of all of your online profiles and anything a prospective employer could find about you. You want to make sure every single profile has positive, professional images and information. The following should be included wherever possible:
- Work experience and education
- Membership of associations and any other extracurricular activities
- Your recommendations (other people professionally recommending or rating you, mostly used on LinkedIn)
- A link to a PDF of your résumé for recruiters to access and print
- A portfolio of your work and, most importantly, your results
Note: You don’t need to overdo it! Actively use two to three social media networks at the most. You definitely want quality over quantity here, so don’t worry about creating as many online profiles as possible.
Now that you have your profiles set up, you want to network with other professionals. You may have heard “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Make sure you know as many people as possible! Add people to your networks slowly and purposefully, messaging them to let them know why you want to be connected.
You want to look well-connected and have quality connections to prove your worth to employers. Pick people who will benefit or support your personal brand, as well as industry leaders.
Now for the fun part: get involved with your networks! Post interesting content that is related to your industry, job search, or dream career. Like and comment on other interesting posts, and share content from other sources whenever possible.
The more quality information you post, the more interesting you will be to potential employers and new connections. You’ll notice the snowball effect of more and more connections leading to more job offers.
Enjoy the process and stay positive. Employers love hiring confident, inspiring individuals who they feel will fit in and positively impact their corporate culture. Put your best foot forward online, and they will already believe in you before your first interview. Best of luck!