Graduates today face an ever-changing employment environment, one that evolves based on prevailing technology and hiring capabilities. As a result the most successful job-seekers are often those able to utilize all of the tools available to them. And since landing a job is a lot like selling yourself, social media channels provide some of the best ways to promote your interests in the current hiring market.
In the past, employers were limited in their perception of job candidates; they only had so much information to work with when evaluating applicants. Today, communication and information technology allows employers to review job candidates in ways that wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago. First-hand social media sharing, for example, furnishes valuable insight for employers, allowing them to get an insider’s view of a job applicant’s’ life before they even extend a job offer.
More than ever before selling yourself to potential employers is about building a personal brand they can identify with. And while your experience and qualifications go a long way, resting on your laurels could be an egregious error in today’s competitive job market.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels present brand-building opportunities that help get your personal profile into the hands of potential employers. It is important to note however, that ill-conceived participation in social media can actually have a negative impact on your job prospects. Managing your social media profile to its maximum benefit relies on common sense approaches to individual branding.
Social media sharing takes many forms; from video production to distributing personal photos among friends and family and while certain content is appropriate for mates, sharing too much can leave you at a professional disadvantage. To convey the best possible image of yourself, establish reasonable limits on the types of things you share online. Above all else, don’t hurt your cause by posting unflattering pictures of yourself and friends, or by sharing animated discussion about personal matters. Like it or not, your social media profile is your most visible face, so information contained there is just a click away for potential employers.
In addition to the things you share online, your absence also sends messages to employers. To reflect a positive social media image, participate selectively, but with regular contributions. Start by cleaning-up inactive accounts and other lingering profiles that are outdated – including photos. The headshot included with social media profiles is a first visual impression for potential employers, outdated images do little to promote your cause. Replace casual shots with professional-looking images that show how you look today, rather than promoting images of yourself from your mullet days. Once your profiles are updated contribute Tweets or Facebook postings often enough to show employers that you are active, but not obsessed with social media.
Become an Expert
Social media provides opportunities for you to establish expertise and authority within your field. While it may not provide an actual resume entry, social media participation gives potential employers an idea of where your passions lie. The connections you make interacting online can actually lead to employment, but even if this doesn’t happen, social networking can at the very least give your ‘brand’ a major boost.
More than ever before, job-seekers rely on networking, brand-building and establishing industry connections online. As a result, social media has evolved into an essential tool for promoting your employment objectives. Putting your best foot forward relies on regular participation, disciplined sharing and maintaining a consistent, up-to-date online presence. To further fortify the benefits you reap from social media, use channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and others to establish yourself as an expert in your field; giving potential employers as many reasons as possible for bringing you on-board.
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from best people search. Sarah is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.