Spending the last few months at home has increased the amount of time we scroll through our social feeds seeking entertainment. And as unemployment hits record highs, more people are entering the job pool searching for limited opportunities, forcing candidates to find ways to stand out from the pack. Now is the time to take a long hard look at your social media presence and ask if it is propelling for forward or holding you back.
If you’re actively looking or just open to new possibilities, you should upload your resume to Forge Buffalo and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook. After completing those important steps, take a look at these recommendations to maximize your social media presence and move to the head of the pack.
Be open to new possibilities. What if I told you that LinkedIn, a social networking platform with more than 600 million professional profiles and virtually endless job opportunities, has a way to privately signal recruiters that you are interested in opportunities? You’d take full advantage of it, right? Open LinkedIn click on “View profile,” select “Add profile section,” and click “Looking for a new job” in the intro section.
Make a connection. If you’re looking to appear in more searches, have a higher ranking, and create more engagement opportunities (and trust me, you are), you need to have at least 500 connections. How you get there is up to you. It’s often best to find former colleagues, relatives or other professionals who work in similar fields. Pro tip: Send a follow-up message after connecting with someone you never worked with or met – acknowledging this and expressing interest in learning more about their career can go a long way.
Give and receive recommendations. When was the last time you bought something online that had no reviews? Just like you don’t want to gamble on a discount waffle maker that no one has tried, recruiters are hesitant to roll the dice on someone without some signs of previous success. Think back to colleagues you’ve worked well with, managers who have always been fans of your work or people who shared positive feedback. Then go to your LinkedIn profile, find the recommendation section, select “Ask for a recommendation,” type the name of the connection you want to ask and follow the prompts. Be sure to return the favor!
Be your best self. One of the most productive things you can do at this time is review your past posts and make sure they paint you in the best light. If you don’t want to change your feed, create a professional profile that you share with the world, and keep your personal profile private.
Find your fit. Many companies use Instagram to highlight their culture. You’ll likely need to do some deeper digging because, like people on the ‘Gram, companies tend to focus on the positive. It’s useful to know their core values, the work environment’s style, and fun employee events, but just because there is a foosball table doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games.
Get Creative. If you’re looking to work with a startup, Instagram (and other social channels) is a great way to show how creative you are and your knowledge of the latest trends. It’s also a useful tool to show how you would optimize the company’s social channels if you were running them.
Clean it up. I don’t think I can emphasize enough the importance of reviewing your profile and removing past posts that may not have aged well. No one wants to see your hot takes from high school. If you wouldn’t show it to your grandmother, don’t show it to a potential employer.
Get in the game. Curate content, follow relevant industry influencers and offer commentary. Infuse your posts with your personality. Just be sure to keep it professional. If you’re not sure what that means, reread the last sentence of Clean it up.
Keywords are a major key. You don’t have to know the restaurant’s name to know that you’re craving Chinese food, and after a quick search, you can have a list of the places with the best eggrolls in town. Recruiters won’t always know your name, but adding relevant industry keywords to your bio can make it easier for them to find you, understand who you are and what you do when searching.
Keep it clean or lock it down. You might have picked up on a theme. No employer wants to see your parties, drama, political commentary or rants. It’s okay to keep your Facebook channel private, like more than okay.
Search at your own risk. You can also check out the employer’s Facebook pages for more info on them. If you do, expect them to try to search you too, so keep it clean or lock it down.
Lean on your friends. Sometimes finding a new job is all about knowing the right people. Your Facebook friends don’t want to see daily posts about your job search or frustrations, but they likely want to help. Providing details around job titles, fields that interest you, names of employers you’d like to work for, and your preferred location makes it easier for them to lend a hand.