Stop with the food photos and use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to boost your career.
Ninety-two percent of companies now use social media for hiring, and 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile, according to US research. Here’s how to get your social accounts into shape and nab yourself the job of your dreams.
1 GOOGLE YOURSELF
You need to see what your social media pages look like to an outsider. ‘View your profiles as a third party,’ says Ryan Shelley, managing director at Australian social media consultancy Pepper IT. ‘This ensures that nothing intended to be personal is viewable to others. Remember, nothing on the internet is truly private.’
2 CLEAN THINGS UP
Employers expect you to have a personal life, but ‘there’s a fine line between appearing human and sharing too much personal information,’ Ryan says. Unsurprisingly, 83% of recruiters disapprove of references to illegal drugs and 70% react badly to posts of a sexual nature. ‘What is acceptable depends on your industry,’ Ryan says. ‘The entertainment and PR industries would expect to see you mingling with the right people. More sedate industries may expect a more professional appearance.’ It’s not just party photos that may damage your job prospects. Anything that could be deemed offensive or politically divisive isn’t a good look.
3 KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STAY ACTIVE
It’s better to have a well put-together, up-to-date profile on a couple of platforms than lots of neglected accounts. ‘Only take on as many as you can manage,’ Ryan says. Your potential employer wants to see you’re engaged in what you do, rather than faddishly joining every new social platform. ‘If you’re job hunting, you should have a LinkedIn profile with a professional-looking profile photo and bio, plus Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show a more personal side,’ Ryan says. Then work out which platforms would work well for your business and start using them.
4 PROMOTE YOURSELF – BUT NOT TOO MUCH
Social media is a handy way to promote your professional achievements. But it can also be used to show that you’re aware of news and developments in your field. ‘Be careful not to overdo the self-promotion,’ Ryan says.
5 CONNECT WITH PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE
‘Follow and interact with people in your industry,’ Ryan says. ‘It’s a great way to get noticed and often provides an opportunity to contact them directly.’ Go a step further and follow people who work at your dream company. It will help you to stay on top of what’s going on in their business, including job opportunities.