Before your next employer ever meets you, they’re going to get to know you online. What you say and how you present yourself on social media can make the difference between never getting an interview and getting placed at the top of the candidate pile.
Finding a job is all about connections, and one of the best ways to build connections is through your online profiles, particularly LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the professional social network, and the go-to spot for prospective employers to find out more about you.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. In fact, many companies now let you use your LinkedIn profile to automatically fill in their online application forms. However, LinkedIn offers a number of advantages over a traditional resume.
- Recommendations – If you still have good relationships with your former employers or co-workers, ask them to post a recommendation letter.
- Documents and Presentations – If you have relevant samples from previous jobs, post them here. Just make sure there’s nothing confidential or proprietary in them.
- Photos – These should be professional photos, such as pictures taken for a company newsletter, or some other event showing you on the job, working with others.
- Video – If you’ve ever given a presentation or spoken in front of your peers, adding it will showcase your leadership abilities and professionalism.
Once your profile is complete, start building your network by searching for companies you’ve worked for and adding your old co-workers.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, return regularly, keep your profile up-to-date, post articles relevant to your field, endorse your connections and join some professional groups.
Protect Your Brand
When it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn will be your primary social networking tool, and you should keep it strictly professional. Don’t post about your kids, your dog or that great party you went to over the weekend.
However, don’t imagine prospective employers are only going to check your LinkedIn profile. They’re trying to decide whether you would make a good fit for their team, so they’re going to check everything: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. Your online activity could help or hinder your job prospects.
Most employers won’t care if you have some old party pics on Facebook. But if every one of your posts involves you stumbling home, they may worry about your reliability. Some of the best ways to ruin your online brand, and make you highly un-hirable, include:
- Posting about skipping work.
- Complaining about your boss or co-workers.
- Posting offensive or threatening content.
- Posting anything else that makes you look unprofessional, unmotivated or unlikeable.
Be Yourself, Just Toned Down
Don’t take these guidelines to mean you have to be someone other than yourself online. Ultimately, prospective employers want to know if you’re a good fit for their team. Creating a fake image of yourself just to impress them won’t help anyone, and it could get you hired for a job you won’t enjoy – or that won’t enjoy you. Instead, be yourself, but before you post anything, ask yourself whether or not you would want your boss to read it.
For more tips on building a successful online brand, contact your Madden Recruitment Specialist today. We are a leader in industrial staffing in the Northwest. Learn about how we can help your job search today!