Here is a breakdown of various social media platforms and what you can do to keep your profiles professional.
How to Use Social Media to Get a Job
Whether you’re currently looking for a new career or waiting for a future opportunity, it’s important to show off your skills and positive side. Social media has a tendency to lay bare all your imperfections so anyone can see. Unfortunately, whether true or not, people will see your social activities and quickly judge you by them, whether they understand the context or not.
Additionally, once you put yourself out there, you may not be happy with how people can change the narrative without you knowing.
Here is a breakdown of various social media platforms and what you can do to keep your profiles professional so you can pass the inevitable test of a hiring officer looking you up.
Built as a professional networking app, LinkedIn allows you to connect with others, show off your professional skills, and share intellectual property, whether your own or someone else’s. Many professionals use this as their primary source of referrals for new hires, but the network can work for anyone.
The top five things you need for LinkedIn are:
· Professional image
· Treat your profile like a resume
· Show your achievements
· Request recommendations from colleagues
· Publish work – Preferably pieces that you’ve written
LinkedIn has a summary section that you want to take advantage of. You can add 3 to 5 paragraphs to highlight your skills and experience. View this as your elevator pitch so you can wow any readers to pique their interest.
Pro Tip: Update your URL on your profile so it’s unique as opposed to the generic number that LinkedIn starts you with.
Facebook can be a slippery slope, but not having a profile allows everyone else to control your story. If you have a profile, you can control your privacy settings so your posts aren’t shared with people you don’t know.
Though your image doesn’t have to be professional, it should still be high quality and uncompromising. That means no alcohol or inappropriate clothing.
When it comes to Facebook, it’s more your conduct that you want to keep in check. Depending on your privacy settings and your friends’, a potential employer can delve into your history to see what kind of person you are when you let loose. Even if your friends were joking with that picture the other night at the bar, your interviewer may not understand.
Pro Tip: You can set up a professional page to share professional insights and content as well as start professional discussions with others in your field.
Twitter is a great way to share the work of professionals in your field. The nature of the content is bite-sized and shareable so it can be consumed quickly. It isn’t always what you share, but who you share and who you share it with. You want to be mindful of the things you share instead of blindly sharing it. Share positive content from reputable sources to ensure the information is not only accurate, but timely. The intent of the content is important as well. You may agree with a sentiment, but if the source has questionable integrity, you may not want to be associated with them.
While you don’t have to always be on your twitter account sharing content, it’s good to go on for a few minutes in the morning to look around. Be careful not to get caught up in too many cat videos; however, as it can be time consuming.
Pinterest is about pinning your interests to your profile board(s). With that in mind, you want to show your personal side, but keep it suitable for all audiences. When using Pinterest in your job search, you can:
· Arrange your boards to prioritize what people see first.
· Name your boards so people know exactly what they’re getting into.
· Create a portfolio board and share any articles that you have written.
· Share articles and advice.
· Follow your favourite companies. (And copy what they’re doing.)
Tumblr is a blogging site that seems to appeal to people when they can’t post on other platforms. While Tumblr is likely a site you’re using by choice, it may not be what you’d use on purpose to get a job. That said, there are a few things you can do to make sure it looks good for the right people.
· Create your own memes and shareable content.
· Turn your previous jobs into positive posts for a living resume.
Always be professional
It doesn’t matter which platform you typically use, they should all be adjusted to display a professional persona. That’s not to say you can’t celebrate your unique style. Try to avoid buzzwords in your profiles. Things like “results-driven” don’t hold much meaning for hiring officers. They want to know what you’ve accomplished and how you will help them. They also want to make sure they aren’t inheriting someone else’s problem.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to get multiple professional photos taken so you can cycle them through your profiles.
Pro Tip: Always be updating your profiles, especially LinkedIn with advice, experience, and content.