This is the second part of a series on utilizing social media as a strategic tool in your job search portfolio.
In the last article, we covered some of the statistics and strategies behind why it makes sense to create a consistent online presence through your social media profiles, and how that can boost your job search efforts.
Better Marketing: Using social media as an in-bound marketing tool for employers to find you, on top of your resume, which is an outbound marketing tool that relies on your to market yourself.
Increased Visibility: More hiring managers than ever are using social media as a way to tap into new candidate pools within their industries.
Storytelling: Leveraging social media to communicate the information you want hiring managers to know about you, and compile it into a robust story about your careers, versus a list of skills and experience.
SEO: The bigger your presence on the most appropriate channels, the likelier you are to be found by people searching for candidates in your field.
That’s all well and good, but now we want to take action, and figure out a game plan as to how to approach the social media-sphere from a strategic angle. So here are a few key steps you can begin to take to leverage the reach and influence of social media, and increase your visibility to potential employers:
Create Brand Consistency
Do yourself a favor and invest in a professional headshot or two, and use the consistent profile images for all of your networks, making it easier for people to recognize you. Make your profile polished – this is your digital resume, your online business card, and the first thing people will often see about you, so enlist tools that make a solid first impression.
Keep consistency with your headlines where possible – think about how you’re describing yourself. Is your Twitter tagline conveying something completely different than what you say on LinkedIn or Google+?
Deliver on Your Message
Make sure what you say in the body of your profiles supports the high-level idea presented in your headline. “Innovative Graphic Designer, Expert Creative Problem Solver”? Explain to me what that means in terms of what you’ve done – what solutions have you come up with through your design, your client list, the type of work you’ve done, and how it’s impacted your customers?
Update Your Profile As Necessary
Don’t fall into the trap of creating a one-off and never tending to it again. Your accomplishments and career trajectory will change, and potentially even your target audience, and your profile should reflect those things. Don’t just create a Twitter profile, stand back, and see who follows you. Connect with thought leaders and companies of interest in your industry, participate in conversations, get involved in Facebook and LinkedIn groups. And share interesting content and ideas of your own to positions yourself as knowledgeable and in-touch with what’s going on in your field.
Don’t Just Connect. Leverage Your Connections
Everyone knows social networks are about connecting. But what do you do with those relationships once you’ve started to build a foundation? Follow people, comment on their ideas and content, share it, share your own ideas if they seem like they’d be something of interest.
It’s not just about making connections, but taking that to the next level by actually engaging with people, talking, sharing, cross-promotion, and building that connection into an actual relationship with mutual respect and rapport. There’s no better way to stay on someone’s radar while also keeping them abreast of what’s going on in your world.
The goal is to create a place for people to find you, and make sure it’s conveying a cohesive brand message. Position yourself by providing the information that you want hiring managers to know about you, and remember you for. The question you should address through your profile content, collectively and individually, is “What do you want potential employers to know about you as a candidate?”
We’ll continue to explore this topic more in the coming weeks, and look at more tools, statistics and best practices for leveraging social media in your job search, connecting with key hiring managers and influencers, and building visibility and credibility that’s going to help you stand out in this competitive market.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio!
About the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, and more recently, Brooklyn Resume Studio. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses, through career transition coaching and business consulting for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals in advertising, marketing, design and other industries execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities, and her advice has been featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. Follow Dana on Twitter!