Social media is constantly evolving and penetrating our daily lives. We increasingly turn to social media to share updates with friends on Facebook, upload snapshots on Instagram, follow celebrities on Twitter and be smitten by cute kittens on YouTube.
Each day there are about 500 million tweets on Twitter and five million images uploaded on Instagram, while two new members sign up to LinkedIn every second.
Millennials – the generation that grew up with social media – spend around two hours each day on social media. As they rise up the corporate ladder, it is not surprising that social media plays an ever-increasing role in the world of work.
This is supported by Randstad Award 2015 research which found that half of employees in Hong Kong use social networking sites to find a job.
While LinkedIn is often seen as the de facto platform where jobseekers find job openings, Randstad Award 2015 research found that Facebook, WhatsApp and Google+ are growing in popularity among jobseekers.
It appears the line between professional and personal is getting blurred as jobseekers leverage their personal networks to search and apply for jobs, research companies and bring awareness to their personal brand.
As social media becomes a common channel for job search, jobseekers need to consider how they are profiled on these networks. While most platforms enable privacy settings, jobseekers using personal and professional online networks to find jobs should be mindful of a few tips.
1) Use your real name
Using your real name across your profiles makes you look more professional than using a nickname. Accompany that with a profile picture that is professionally appropriate.
2) Filter what you share
With many social media sites being so easily accessible, cleaning up your online profile may mean the difference between getting the job or not. After all, your social media profile is a reflection of your personal brand. The general rule is that you should not share anything that you would not say in an interview.
3) Build your online presence
Passionate about digital transformation? Share your ideas and thoughts on Facebook. Interested in fashion and retail? Start a fashion blog or an Instagram account to show your creative flare.
Use LinkedIn to publish or share articles that may pique the interest of employers in the industry you want to work in. Being proactive in whatever you are interested in shows that you are passionate about your career and demonstrates your skills beyond the CV.
But if you do host an online platform and promote it, be sure it is an active account.
Recruiters use online tools to search, identify and reach out to potential candidates, so building your online presence can help set you apart from your peers.
If you are hesitant to merge personal and professional networks, pump up your privacy settings on Facebook and only feature certain posts publicly. If you would tweet something on your professional Twitter, consider making it a public Facebook post.
4) Select a few accounts to be public
Nowadays it is a no-brainer to share your LinkedIn profile on the CV. If you are active on Twitter or your blog, feature these accounts as well. In today’s digital world where the majority of us – recruiters included – look up information online, it is a plus to have a professional online presence.
5) Use keywords appropriately
Whether you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, your profile should reflect the keywords that best describe your skills, areas of expertise and interests. Be mindful not to clutter your profiles – especially LinkedIn – with way too many buzzwords, otherwise you may risk undermining your credibility.
LinkedIn offers the opportunity for others to vouch for you, so don’t hesitate to ask supervisors, colleagues, clients and professors for recommendations.
6) ‘Like’ the companies you love
Are there companies you would really love to work for? “Like” their Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter pages. Not only will you learn more about the company culture and industry, but you will also be alerted to new job vacancies as well. In addition, some companies may check to see if you are a fan or follower to gauge how excited you are about joining the company.
7) Share your job hunt with your connections
If you are actively and publicly looking for a job, consider posting a status update to let your connections know that you are on the hunt. Referrals are still one of the best ways to land a job.
Recruiters are using social media channels to search, contact and vet candidates for pre-interviews. It is not uncommon that a hiring manager would reconsider a candidate based on what they have found on their social media profiles.
Be sure to adhere to some of these tips and be aware that each platform offers a different opportunity in the job seeking and employment process.
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