As you begins building a professional network, it is time to take a step back and think about how you can leverage your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account and, more importantly, not shoot yourself in the foot.
According to Education Advisory Board, 94% of employers use social media in candidate recruitment, and 43% of employers who used social media did not hire a person based on finding negative content. If nearly all of recruiters are using LinkedIn to discover new talent, it is shown that students do not tap the full potential of this opportunity and do not always understand how they should advertise themselves to employers to get one step ahead of the competition.
Ian Millar, who has double expertise in the areas of hospitality and information technology, is one of those who checks candidates’ social media profiles to see who they really are, their interest, posts and overall general social media presence. He Shared with us some tips on how to gain visibility on the platform.
Most important is a complete profile! First of all, upload a professional image (Not your graduation picture). This is your very best opportunity to make a great first impression. Then, build an attractive summary about who you are as a professional person and your key areas of expertise. This should include an outline of your degree and what you are seeking so that your profile can be discovered by the right professionals. Don’t neglect the other sections: education, work experience, volunteer experience & causes, language and certification. And change your public profile URL to be your name instead of a collection of random letters and numbers.
Take seriously the incredible value that recommendations provide to your profile. They add layer upon layer of credibility in the eyes of potential employers. Make sure to get at least four of them describing and giving examples of what you are like to work with, where your true skills and passions are and what some of your strongest soft skills just might be.
After writing the perfect profile it is now time to network, follow companies and connect with potential recruiters. What you want to do is engage and be seen as engaged but without becoming an online stalker. So you should follow the brand you would love to work for on LinkedIn. Sign up to their blog if they have one, join group relating to the organization, follow them on twitter (as most will use that as corporate communication). It will give you a good insight into the company and be up to date with important changes in companies, especially if you apply for and make it to interview stage. Groups and discussions are considered as great sources of information from industry professionals but also about engaging with people. It will take time if you are to stay active and relevant but from a student perspective this is useful for seeking out advice and mentorship.
Last but not least is the content you post, share and like. Regular posting of interesting content related to the career you wish to follow is often neglected although it is essential to keep your profile alive to attract future employers as well as providing more value to connections who view your profile. Plus, you get to demonstrate your authority and expertise by sharing your input as well. Industry and company insights should compose a majority of your posted content knowing that they are the most demanded type of content among LinkedIn members.
Finally, it is hard to stand out online, but again it is all about first impression. So avoid inappropriate content, spelling mistakes, being overly active and anything religious or political and differentiate yourself from other users to gain in visibility and manage your career.