Recruiters use social media to evaluate applicants so it’s really important to think of yourself as a brand and make sure that what they find is positive and professional. As with any brand, the first thing you need to determine is what brand you represent right now and what it is going to become. Know what your goals and aspirations are for your professional future. Ensure your brand has a consistent voice online that clearly represents these things and summarize it in a short sentence that you can use on all sites, for example “Graphic designer with a passion for quality” or “an innovative engineer who builds and creates”.
Clean Up Your Act
So, what is your current brand? Do a Google search on yourself and make sure you check the images too. Facebook is doing away with their feature that allows users to hide themselves from Facebook search results, so untag yourself from those slightly wild Ibiza pictures your friends posted on your wall and remove any of your own pictures that might give the wrong impression of what your self-brand is. Check the pages you’ve liked to make sure they properly represent your interests – both personal and professional, and unlike any that don’t represent you well.
Establishing Your Brand
• Use sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and a blog to establish your brand. Start with owing your name – everything should be in your own name rather than a pseudonym. Your university mates might have found your email address of [email protected] hilarious, but recruiters will not. Why not register your name as a domain on a site like names.co.uk, where you will also get a free email address so you can build your own website.
• Build your profile on LinkedIn. No job experience? No problem. Start with your education, achievements and interests. Were you prefect on the debating team or a star athlete at school? At university, what did you qualify in and write your thesis on? Did you win any awards or run the student newspaper? List any part time jobs you had too and don’t forget to mention that you built an orphanage in Africa during your gap year! It is about any skill and every skill you have, that will get you noticed. You can also, connect to your professors or advisors and ask them to provide a LinkedIn recommendation for you and establish yourself as a real go-getter from the get-go. All of these tips mentioned are actionable to get profiling your skills.
• Use a blog to publish your thesis and any presentations you’ve made. There are so many easy-to-use blogging sites, WordPress and Blogger are two of the most popular. Create your own YouTube channel and provide links to any video presentations in your blog. Why not do a video CV telling employers why you would be an asset to their business and the experience you can contribute. When you think outside the box it sets you apart from the next person applying for the same job.
• Do create a profile on one of the personal branding sites, about.me or zerply.com or go the whole hog and build your own website to showcase any work you’ve done and make it an online CV that will really make you stand out from the crowd; try wix.com. Be sure to make it professional.
Building Your Network
• On Twitter, follow people who are leaders in your chosen field and that inspire you. For example, I have worked within engineering, science, business sales so there are many people I could target in different sectors such as technology or people such as entrepreneurs or a group of influencers in engineering news. Re-tweet their posts, and don’t be afraid to message people directly to ask professional questions. Get yourself noticed and network your skills.
• On LinkedIn, start by connecting to family and family friends then ask for introductions to people in their networks who work at companies and in industries where you would like to work. Post links to articles you’ve found interesting and add your own comments to start establishing your areas of interest and expertise.
Handy Hints For Social Media
• Post regular updates to all your social media profiles to keep the content fresh and current.
• Link all your social media profiles to each other.
• Get a decent headshot and use it across all your profiles.
But most importantly, get out there and get noticed for all the right reasons.
Author: Jenny is a graduate and freelance writer who has worked in scientific, business and Engineering Telegraph Jobs. With each job Jenny learnt how to brand herself in her niche roles and felt this helped with her job search.