A growing majority of people are using their social media presence to help them find a job. But as you might have already seen first-hand, not everyone is successful. And not every approach works. The fact is it can be tough to stand out online.
With that in mind, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this quesion.
What is your preferred method to excel online when job hunting a job, and why does it work so well?
Read on… then stand out online by putting this great advice to work.
1. Target One-on-One Relationships
To stand out online, build genuine relationships with people that are hiring for your skill set. Follow, like, share and provide your own opinions. Showcase yourself as a thought leader, not just another employee. Prove you have a genuine interest in the craft, and that you are committed to becoming great. In a noisy social world, one-on-one interactions mean more than ever.
2. Create a Website
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to have your own website. When trying to promote yourself or your expertise, you should register your personal name as your domain name and build out a resume-style site. This will also help you rank for your name at the top of Google, which can play a huge role in the decision and hiring process.
3. Use Keywords on Your Resume
If you’re using the online world to look for a job, a computer program will likely scan your resume before it gets to a human being. Keywords play an important role in online visibility, and this holds true for job hunting, too. Include industry-specific keywords in your resume, but don’t go overboard. Make sure your social media profiles have keywords that highlight what you do.
4. Invest Your Time in Side Projects
Build side projects. I find that taking a project from zero to one is the best experience and exposure you can get on your own. It’s easier than ever to build projects regardless of your skill set. It all comes down to creativity and hustle. And side projects come with another benefit: They offer a way to quickly stand out. No need to wait weeks or months.
5. Customize Your Outreach to Specific Targets
No matter what you’re trying to do on social media, you need to have a clear picture of who you need to reach. For a job search, that means thinking about the types of places you want to work, as specifically as possible. If you can target your social media outreach to one specific company, do it. You’ll stand out just by avoiding blanket pitches.
6. Share Valuable Content and Engage with People on LinkedIn
How do I stand out online?I am all over LinkedIn. It has 500 million people on it so it’s the best place for networking. I post articles and my podcast episodes on LinkedIn. It’s also a great place for conversation and engagement. Ultimately, the world’s largest professional network is the perfect platform for establishing yourself as a thought leader. If you’re not on LinkedIn… you don’t exist.
7. Find a Champion Before You Apply
Finding a job is much like a sale — cold emailing, calling and applying typically doesn’t work. Social media allows you to connect with people at your target companies in your target roles. By getting their attention and interest (social media can help find common interests), you can get that person to help you get in front of the right person, who can hire, at your target company.
8. Develop a Personal Brand
Developing a personal brand can most certainly help you stand out among a pool of applicants. Most people just use their name for their brand. Once you’ve purchased the domain name, create a website where you can consistently blog about industry news, and thoughts to start to develop yourself as a thought leader in the space.
9. Get Published in Larger Spaces
In the Social Age, everyone has to be a writer. You’re already carefully tweaking tweets, emails and Instagram stories all week, and that’s not far from working like a pro does. Try getting ideas for blogs and LinkedIn essays published in bigger places by emailing them to editors and content managers. Once you’re successful, when people Google your name before hiring you they’ll see you’re already an authority.
10. Join Professional Networking Websites
Joining professional networking websites like LinkedIn works so well because it tends to be the first thing that employers see when they Google you. Think of your professional profile as an online resume. You want to make it as comprehensive as possible, so keep it as detailed as possible, join relevant groups, and foster connections by sending and accepting invites to increase your visibility.
11. Represent Yourself as Best You Can
I think no matter where you are online, be the best you can be. If it’s LinkedIn or Twitter or another networking site, make sure you are well represented. I’ve sought out employees via social media before and the site didn’t matter. What mattered was: Could I tell who they were? Did I get a sense of them? Did they truly stand out online?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.