When companies get a lot of similar resumes, it is now common to look at their applicant’s social media presence to find out more about them. Because of this, it’s important for you job seekers to not only prepare your resume and cover letter for evaluation, but also your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Keep in mind though that social media isn’t only useful for the employer when finding the right employee, but can be a good resource for the job seeker to find job opportunities as well. Here are a few ideas of how to use these three sites to your advantage as you search for your next job:
Facebook is mostly intended to connect friends and family, and is a casual place to post pictures and status reports of what you’ve been up to. Therefore, when talking to an employer, go beyond Facebook and only refer to it for FB pages you’ve created (like maybe for a school group) and not your personal profile.
That being said, an employer might look you up to get an idea of what you are like outside of a work or professional setting. You may want to find out more about the person who would hire you, highlight the aspects of your social media presence that they would most likely find impressive, and avoid showing off topics that they might not like (such as political differences).
Be wise in the comments you make, the pages and photos you like and share, the things you write about, etc. Use clean language and avoid vulgarity. You want to come across as professional and engaged in good things. Show that you are aware of what’s going on in your field through your comments, posts, and shared articles. On your profile, include words and information about your skills and passions that would make you appealing to an employer.
Twitter is a good way for you to become more familiar with the companies you are interested in. Follow their Twitter accounts to look engaged and to be involved in what the company posts (you could potentially bring up posts that you read in an interview). It could also be helpful to follow relevant people in these companies. Read and respond to their tweets to catch their attention and make a positive impression.
Twitter and Facebook are also good places to keep an eye out for job openings. Sometimes companies post about positions on social media because they need to hire quickly, and seeing a position and applying right away might be to your advantage. Search for hashtags of positions you are interested in.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, make one now. The purpose of LinkedIn is to help people network professionally, and it can be a great tool in finding connections that could lead to job opportunities. It’s also a way to show employers that you are proactive in networking and staying engaged. LinkedIn’s “endorsement” feature is a great way to reinforce the skills you claim to have. Endorse other people’s skills and they will endorse yours. When employers see that others endorse the skills you claim to have, it gives you more credibility.
Determine what you want your potential employers to know about you and also what they are looking for in an employee, and then make your profile accordingly. Make sure your resume is consistent with your information on LinkedIn and that the information on your profile is relevant to the employers who are considering hiring you. When you meet people in companies of interest (like an HR manager, recruiter, or other employee) find them on LinkedIn. Requesting to be their friend shows your involvement online and gives them an opportunity to learn more about you.
When applying for jobs, measure and show your strong online presence. Include your strong media presence on your resume by including your Klout score, your blog, your twitter handle, etc. If you have a lot of followers on social media it shows that you know how to build an audience and that people are interested in what you write.
Establish your professional presence on social media and use it to your advantage.
Add your social media presence to your resume, and then upload it here.