and an on-point portfolio, another weapon in your job hunting armoury is your social media presence. Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or are always keen to hear about new contract opportunities, making sure your social media presence portrays you in a flattering light is really important. As recruiters, we’ll tell you this now – if you’re someone that a hiring manager has expressed an interest in, or we’ve found your CV on a job board and want to learn more – we WILL search for you on social media! So, it’s really worth putting some time aside to assess how effective your social profiles really are.
Which sites work best?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question, as everyone has different interests or may feel different platforms align better with their personality or career aspirations. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for growing your professional network – and, to be honest, this is the first one recruiters will search for you on. Twitter is ever-growing, and a fantastic platform for sharing your opinion and weighing in on topics. Many ‘cutting-edge’ and innovative companies will have a big Twitter presence themselves, however more established and corporate businesses may only use Twitter sparingly. Instagram is very visuals/design-focussed so would suit UI/graphic designers well – and we’ve also seen a rise in companies using Instagram ads to share news about vacancies. Facebook – perhaps because of the privacy settings and how it has traditionally been used in the past – seems to have been kept as a largely personal social network. While we have seen companies and individuals dabble in using Facebook to network, it hasn’t yet become ‘the norm’.
We recommend conducting your own search of relevant industry keywords on social media platforms, and seeing the kind of profiles that pop up at the top of the results list. Take a look at how they’ve worded their bios and anything else that might make them stand out. Whether you have 50 or 5,000 followers, you can enhance the likelihood of being found by the right people by ensuring you’re using all the right words to describe yourself. In addition, it’s good practice to join relevant groups and take part in – or lead – discussions too. The more discussions you start or contribute to, the more likely it is you’ll get noticed. On LinkedIn, joining groups will also expand your network and create ‘ins’ with people you might want to contact – as the website makes it obvious when you have a group in common with someone.
Presenting a consistent persona
If you’ve sent your CV in for an open position, chances are that the recipient will want to check out your LinkedIn to see if you have any recommendations from ex-managers, or if you’ve note down any additional information online. It is, therefore, really important to make sure the dates and job titles on your CV/website and LinkedIn match up so there’s no confusion. It’s also a good idea to post the same content across different channels, or to link between them. For instance, if you’ve put up a photo of a colourful brainstorm wall on Instagram, why not share it on Twitter and LinkedIn too? We’d also recommend taking a moment to assess your profile photos. A mark of a successful brand is strong, recognisable imagery, so use the same image across several platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, your website, your portfolio websites) to enhance ‘personal brand continuity’ – that is, where people begin to associate your photo with your name and are more likely to remember you.
Despite all of this, we’re not saying that you need to be open to scrutiny on all of your social media profiles. You may like to keep your Facebook ‘friends-only’ for instance. Just make sure that your security options are set so strangers can’t see beyond the basics.