In the age of social media, there are many more options for job seekers to make themselves stand out against other candidates. But, if you want to be successful in doing so and, you know, actually land yourself the job, how exactly should you be using social media, and is there anything you’re already doing that you shouldn’t be doing?
Career Coach Angela Copeland of Copeland Coaching helps job seekers better market themselves to land their dream jobs. If you’re looking for advice on better marketing your resume to employers, here are a few things to consider.
1. Revamp and reinvigorate your online presence
Stand up and stand out with a dynamic social presence. Copeland insists you should be on LinkedIn, noting that it is the best social media channel for job seekers and it’s the number one social media channel that recruiters use to find potential candidates.
But, that doesn’t just mean you should make an account and upload your photo. Fill it out as much as you can and ask your previous co-workers to endorse your skills and essentially vouch that you are a great person to work with.
Moreover, once you make a LinkedIn profile, don’t just let it sit there and wait for recruiters to contact you. The point of LinkedIn is to network…so network!
“Many candidates are using LinkedIn to identify potential hiring managers,” says Copeland of the proactive trend. “If you find someone you might be interested in working for, it doesn’t hurt to send a message asking to have a brief phone call for networking purposes.”
2. Create your own content and brand yourself as an expert
One way to stand out in the crowded social media network is to create and share your own content. You should cater the content toward the field you are pursuing a job in to showcase your knowledge and that you’re on top of what’s being talked about within the industry.
“Social media can also be an excellent way to brand yourself as an expert in your field,” says Copeland. “Share articles you’ve written or industry events you have participated in via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.”
Plus, if any articles you write or share get re-shared or viewed a lot, it’ll show an employer that you truly are considered an expert in the field and that others value your thoughts.
Copeland also suggests building a personal website to host your portfolio. Doing so gives you space to showcase all of your past work, your resume and any endorsements of your skills or awards.
3. Communicate proactively with hiring managers
Don’t be afraid to contact hiring managers if you find them on social media–and Copeland says Twitter is one of the best platforms to make use of this.
“Another very creative idea is to communicate with a hiring manager using Twitter — by video,” suggests Copeland. “Some candidates in creative fields will pitch an advertising agency (for example) by creating a short video about themselves and then tweeting it to the agency.”
4. Regardless of your field, you should use social media to market yourself
Some job seekers avoid using social media to market themselves because they think only those pursuing a career in social media or marketing should be seeking jobs through social media. But, that’s not true and marketing yourself on social media is a great idea for just about any industry. When it comes down to it, most companies have a social media presence these days, so someone from the company would likely see your posts, tweets or direct messages.
“All job seekers should market themselves on the internet. I can’t say this loud enough.,” says Copeland. “Market yourself on the internet! Start small. Signup for LinkedIn and begin to fill out your profile with your skills and experience. Then, connect to your colleagues. You’ll be surprised at how far this small amount of effort will take you.”
5. Remember that employers can see what you say and share online
Copeland says that, in our current political climate, a surprising number of job seekers are sharing their political views online. While you’re always entitled to your opinion, if you’re on the job hunt, you should consider that any future employer can see any public posts you share–and they might not feel the same way as you.
“I don’t know about you, but I want to be judged on my ability to do the job at hand — not my political beliefs.,” says Copeland. “Cut back on your political posts and tighten up your security settings to reduce the likelihood that your posts will come back to bite you.”
This is also good advice to keep in mind across all your social media channels because your employer will be looking at your online presence and if you tend to post a lot of political, raunchy or weird posts, it could be costing you a job offer.