In the modern-day job market having a strong authentic online professional profile is becoming, not only important, but in some cases essential. More often are employers taking to social media to search and scrutinise potential employees. Statistics surrounding employer’s use of social media and more specifically LinkedIn (the main player in employment social media) demonstrate how important it is, not only to be present professionally online, but to standout and shine (JobVite, 2014).
So great, employers are taking to social media, but what do you need to do? How do you stand apart from the crowd? And what mistakes do you need to avoid?
What To Do
First thing’s first, get a LinkedIn account!! As the statistics show LinkedIn is an employers best asset. This fact also makes it your best asset.
Once you’re logged in, you now have to consider what is effective and more specifically, what will work for you. The number one rule is to be authentic, if you’re not people will know (Sievers, 2015). The aim is to paint a vivid and authentic picture of yourself through your writing. The more authentic you make your profile, the more value your connections will have to you. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Be honest with yourself and allow your readers to get a feel for who you are. To do this you need to completely understand your goals, your character traits and your skill sets (Farris, 2015).
How to Stand Apart from the Crowd
Being on LinkedIn is a great start but as we saw earlier there are 414 million members (Statista, 2015), what is going to make you stand out?
Here are some tips from Forbes on how to boost your professional profile(s).
It seems the top tip is to be an active member of the online community. You get back, what you give! By engaging in a professional online setting, and demonstrating that you have an authentic voice that can be seen to be contributing, you are showing future employers that, firstly you have a unique voice with something to contribute, and secondly you have the ability to create and nurture relationships with others. Admittedly, this second talent will be more important to some employers than others, however, it is generally a good skill and will leave employers with a positive impression (Shin, 2014).
Another and arguably stronger way to set yourself apart, is to blog your way to success. That’s right, blogging is a direct route to highlighting your expertise, networking and engaging with people in your target community, and demonstrating that you are passionate and completely immersed in your chosen vocation (Collier, 2012). A blog can also be linked with your LinkedIn profile, in this way it can help provide a body of work which shows off your writing and language skills, and also your marketing and self promotion skills (again these skills will be more valued by some employers compared to others, it all depends on your target career).
Mistakes to Avoid
So now you know what you should be doing, it is important to also consider the fatal mistakes that should be avoided! Watch this short presentation to see some common mistakes.
Although it must be noted that social media is becoming a more important tool in todays recruitment process, it is also important to note that it is not the only tool. When applying for jobs it is crucial to cover every angle, that is, still engage in the ‘so called’ old school methods of creating a great CV, speculative applications and even picking up the phone to call companies (which will leave a longer lasting impression than an email). If you manage to target job applications from all angles you will have a much higher chance of success.
Collier, K., (2012), http://www.jobsite.co.uk/worklife/blog-your-way-to-job-10444/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Davidson, J., (2014), http://time.com/money/3510967/jobvite-social-media-profiles-job-applicants/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Fairclough, H., (2016), https://www.haikudeck.com/p/12055177bd/social-media-mistakes-employment
Faris, D., (2015), https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-authentic-linkedin-debra-faris [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Forbes.com, (2014), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSPVHMoKFhU [Presented Online Video: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Geoff, (2014), http://wersm.com/top-linkedin-facts-and-stats-infographic/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
JobVite, (2014), https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/jobvite_socialrecruiting_survey2014.pdf [Presented Online PDF: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Shin, L., (2014), http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/06/26/how-to-use-linkedin-5-smart-steps-to-career-success/#3439a8406292 [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Sievers, K., (2015), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563215002368 [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]
Statista, (2015), http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]