Use Social Media to Make Yourself More Attractive in the Job Market
By Leah O’Flynn Executive Recruiter & Team Manager, Tech Talent Division
Part one of this article focused on where you should spend your time making an online presence. Now that you know where to be, how do you make the most of your online presence?
Make the most of your social media in the job market –
As a recruiter, I look at social media pages to connect with people with the experience and skills I seek. Also, I use it to get an idea of who you are, what your personality is and if you will fit into a particular corporate culture. Employers and recruiters will find your profile more attractive if you follow some of this advice:
Complete your Profile
Take advantage of all the options provided in your LinkedIn profile, or other avenue of choice. Complete your bio/summary – This should be a short, easy-to-read personal summary that highlights your accomplishments and details the types of opportunities you are interested in. Your resume doesn’t afford you this kind of real estate but it is one of the most read sections of your profile. Use the Post and Publisher functions if you are a writer or presenter. Use the Projects section to upload samples of your work. If applicable, use Patents, Courses, Volunteering Opportunities and other sections offered.
Give it some personality
Some, but don’t go overboard! I recently read a LinkedIn summary in which the person celebrated his having saved a grown man who was drowning as a teenager. That caught my attention. Another recent profile incorporated that person’s strengths as resulted in the Tom Rath Strength Funder Survey, which was both interesting and useful in terms of thinking of where he’d be a good fit. What’s too much personality? Well, for example avoid the Putin-style bare-chested outdoor profile photo.
Be a Participant
Not everyone is a writer or speaker, but it is pretty easy to post an update, share a relevant article, contribute to a dialogue in a LinkedIn group, comment on an open source project on GitHub, or mention someone on Dribbble… you get the drift. This is another way to network with like-minded professionals, share your own expertise and perspective, help out a fellow professional with some advice, and generally let people know who you are.
What’s in a Word?
A search is made of words, so choose your words carefully. Make your profile employer-friendly by using the words you want to be found for. I know it sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised. For example, if your title is “cast members” (Disney), “Data Detective” (IBM), or “security princess” (Google), don’t expect that folks are searching for you like that, make sure you add in a title that corresponds to what you did and what the rest of the world calls that role. Think about your words when describing your role and accomplishments as well.
Link your Presence
Prospective employers and recruiters are going to search for you online. Make it easy for us by linking any sites (profile pages, blogs, work repositories) to your LinkedIn profile, please. It’s a good idea to make sure that your various online representations match up. They certainly don’t need to be carbon copies, but if you list job titles in multiple places, they ought to be the same titles, right? Creating different flavored presences based on the style of the venue is appropriate, creating questions about whether John Smith on GitHub is the same person as John Smith on LinkedIn is probably not a good idea.
Manage your Brand
Do you enjoy Facebook, and Twitter? Sorry I haven’t addressed them yet. Yes, your posts, updates, tweets, groups, lists, etc. can come into the mix. But honestly, most of the time it is not during the sourcing process when we are looking for talent. Typically, these social media sites come into play more often during the weeding out and vetting process. Facebook and Twitter offer companies a great venue for branding themselves, and generate employee referrals, but the average professional is not using their Facebook page to promote their professional skills and accomplishments. There are of course Twitter evangelists who use personal accounts to do professional communication, but either way, if you mix your personal and professional be very aware of the image you are portraying.
To make sure that your personal social media is not a detriment to your professional online brand, exercise some common sense. If you wish to express strong political or religious views, or share intimate information, think twice about choosing social media as the place to do it. If what you are portraying on social media is not what you want to portray in a professional work environment, make sure you are using privacy controls. It’s a good idea to do a search on yourself periodically as well as to check and see if Facebook has once again changed your privacy settings. Remember what happens in Vegas, will be tweeted in a matter of seconds!
About the author:
Leah O’Flynn, Executive Recruiter & Team Manager, Tech Talent Division
Born in Dublin, raised in New Jersey, Leah’s gypsy ways have taken her on many a random journey. Leah has two degrees; one in Journalism and Media Studies, the other in History. She is a natural recruiter who listens and is able to prioritize the needs and desires of both candidates and hiring managers.
About Redfish Technology –
Building Growth-Mode Tech Companies with Hand-Picked Talent.
Founded in Silicon Valley in 1996, Redfish Technology is an award-winning talent acquisition firm specializing in high tech sectors. Partnering with growth mode companies, small and large, Redfish staffs executive functions and builds out the teams below. Redfish knows talent and good companies – we’ve been named #1 Best Places to Work in Idaho three years in a row!