Although social media is a tool used to help foster deeper personal connections, they are also platforms that give recruiters the perfect excuse to legally check up on potential hires. Social media might have forever changed the way we forge connections and socialise, but it’s also had an permanent impact on the job market.
Recruiters and potential employers regularly use social media to search for new hires. It’s not only LinkedIn that they will be looking at either, depending on the profession, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will all be scanned on a semi-regular basis to source potential talent and thin the herd when demand for the job in question significantly outweighs supply.
Below, we’ve compiled the tips and tricks you should be utilising to transform your social media profiles into powerful recruitment tools that will really help you stand out from the pack.
We all make mistakes, particularly when alcohol is involved. Social media can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a platform that reinforces our worst impulses. So, if you’re in the job market, the first thing you should do is go over your social media profiles with a fine tooth-comb and remove any posts, links, or photos that could come back to haunt you or could turn off recruiters.
If you use more than one social media platform regularly, go through them all and make sure they track with each other. Consistency is a key trait that many employers value, so make sure that the person on Facebook matches with the person on LinkedIn and vice-versa. The same goes for your CV. Chances are that when you apply for a job or sign up to a recruitment agency, the first place they will look after they’ve scanned your CV is social media.
You’ve surely heard the old adage, “A picture paints a thousand words.” That might be an exaggeration here, but getting your profile picture just right is a very important aspect of making your social media profile CV-ready. Think of your profile picture as your window into the working world. Whilst you might not like it, recruiters and potential employees will take one glance at your profile picture and make a snap judgement. This is an initial judgement that can be difficult to shake.
The picture should reflect your industry, of course. If you work in finance, keep it formal, whereas if you classify yourself as a ‘creative’ you have greater license to show off your personality. Regardless, the profile picture should always feature a clear, unencumbered shot of your face. Otherwise, it’s doubtful you’ll be taken seriously.
Most mainstream social media CV platforms give you the chance to ‘introduce’ yourself with a sentence or two. Of course, summing up your entire personality in around 120 characters isn’t a particularly easy task (unless you have nothing about you whatsoever, in which case, our condolences), so focus on the salient points. LinkedIn, in particular, works almost like a search engine for recruiters, so you’ll want to lead with your best foot forward and use as many keywords as possible to introduce yourself as a master in your chosen field. That being said, don’t oversell yourself, as it could come across as narcissistic (or like you’re overcompensating).
Particularly in reference to LinkedIn, make sure the skills that are most relevant to your chosen career are highlighted by your social media profile. Include links and posts to jobs or events you might have participated in recently that reflect your career goals and your working relationship with others. Of course, it would also look suspicious if a professional Facebook profile had nothing but posts and pictures of successful conference appearances, so don’t purge your profile of its personality completely.
The key to using any social media platform to gain traction in the jobs market is making connections. As such, it can be tempting to consider adding anyone and everyone who even comes within spitting distance of a job you might be interested in. Don’t do this. It will look desperate and if you have too many connections, some recruiters might even assume you’re an AI bot! Start by adding friends, family members and current/former work colleagues and your social media profile should build organically and exponentially from there.
Creating the perfect social media CV requires little more than common sense. Before you type or post anything, put yourself in the shoes of a recruitment agency or employer. If you even have a shadow of a doubt that it might shine a negative light on you personally, or professionally, you’re probably better off leaving that thought for your friends at the pub!