Social Media – Why you should build a professional personal brand

The way people present themselves online is of keen interest to employers.

You can learn a lot about people by the way they conduct themselves online. For example, would you recruit someone with an incomplete LinkedIn profile and no picture? What does it say about someone and the way they might organise their professional life?

By creating strong profiles, coordinated across all the main platforms, you’ll find that recruiters may get in touch with you. So manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts correctly and you’ll be well placed to reap the career rewards.

As it’s a highly creative medium, you’re perfectly fine to provide an insight into your personality, putting forward your ideas, opinions and interests. You can also use sites like YouTube, Vimeo and any personal blogs to present yourself to potential employers.

How employers use social media to screen applicants

What does your profile say about you? What are you posting? What conclusions could someone draw from these posts?

It is common among recruiters to look at social profiles to learn more about potential employees before an interview. ‘The world can see what we’re up to, what we read, what we like, what we share, our interests and our embarrassing moments.’

When considering what to put into the public domain, remember that what you publish can be used to prove or disprove claims that you’ve made in your CV and cover letter, or during an interview. You’ll, therefore, need to give a positive representation of yourself, in the knowledge that potential employers will be viewing your profiles.

Choose a sensible email address and consistent username alongside an appropriate current image for each profile, which should be made publicly visible. You can then link to other platforms that you’re using professionally.

6 tips for creating a professional LinkedIn profile

  • Write a compelling headline that makes you stand out from the crowd. Get across your expertise or passion in your chosen area.
  • Use your biography to let recruiters/employers know what type of role you’re after and share your current location with them.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects the information contained within your physical CV document.
  • Use the ‘LinkedIn Groups’ feature to find people sharing job leads in your local area.
  • Look at people you admire to find out what they did to get where they are. You can then search similar profiles and companies.
  • Follow companies and ensure your contact details are listed, making it easier for potential employers to get in touch.

3 tips for getting a job through Facebook

  • Create two profiles – research suggests that recruiters are now using Facebook to search for prospective employees in the same way they use LinkedIn. It’s therefore worth having two profiles – one personal and one professional, with the former being your private space. If you don’t want to keep two separate profiles, either completely lock your personal Facebook profile down so that only your friends can see your posts etc. Or ensure that your Facebook profile reflects you in a positive professional light.
  • Provide detail – your professional profile should offer employers a comprehensive insight into what you can offer them. Include details of your education, work experience and skills, while taking into account appropriate keywords.
  • Get involved – you should join relevant groups, and ‘like’ the companies that you’re interested in.

How to use Twitter for job hunting

  • Follow accounts – following relevant companies will help you to get a better feel for their brand, so find accounts that are influential in your chosen industry. They’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest news and help you to make like-minded connections.
  • Search for opportunities – make use of Twitter’s search tool using specific keywords and hashtags. General terms such as #jobsearch work well, and Twitter’s popularity in the media and internet, marketing, advertising and PR, and charity and voluntary work sectors make more specific searches worthwhile too.
  • Get involved – tweet about work experience, reply to posts from other people regarding related topics and retweet posts from relevant accounts.