12 Handy Hints That Will Help Set Up Your Social Media Accounts So They Can Help You Look For A New Job
In previous articles, we've talked about how to use particular social media platforms to enhance your chances of finding a mining job. This article is about using social media generally in your job search.
We've also mentioned
that over half of recruiters search for applicants/candidates online and if they can't find them, or if the person doesn't have at least one active social media account…. So, here are 12 ways you can help your social media accounts help you find your next job:
- It may (or may not) surprise you to know that there are hundreds of social media platforms out there! However, the 'big handful' do tend to hog the limelight, relegating the rest to the back benches. Is it a good idea to have an account with as many social media platforms as possible? Perhaps, if you're a social media butterfly. Perhaps, if you're not planning on looking for another job anytime soon. For the rest of us, it's probably not a great idea.
- Don't make the mistake of thinking that 'being active on social media' is a euphemism for having an account on every platform you come across. If you're seriously on the hunt for another job, and even if you're not but just want to maintain a professional public image, it's far, far better to limit yourself to an account on 2 or 3 majors that you can keep up to date and relevant. A LinkedIn account is a given for any serious professional, and you can round it out with a Facebook and/or Twitter account. This will show recruiters you're a real person. There have also been a couple of attempts to set up specialist mining industry social media platforms (Mineler and Mining Hive spring to mind). If they can gain traction, such platforms are ideal for industry professionals.
- Use your real name when opening up social media accounts. You may get away with a punchy nickname in the martial arts industry where that's the norm rather than the exception but generally, for most business professionals keeping it real is the preferred, and more professional, option. It also means recruiters can find your accounts easily when they search for you by name. Exceptions to this general rule of thumb may be if your name is something like John Smith or you more commonly go by a nickname. Regardless, it's important you're consistent with your name across all your social media platforms and if you do use a nickname, ensure your real name is mentioned somewhere in plain sight as well.
- Keep all your accounts legit and above board. That means keeping your profile as squeaky-clean as you can possibly make it. Your public information should be free from vulgar and coarse language. Ditch the politically divisive articles, and indeed anything that could be considered offensive to others. Your public profile is also not the place to indulge in long rants about controversial topics. Sure, you may have strong opinions about things like global warming, carbon emissions and the like but it's probably best not to air them where they could persuade potential employers to remove you from their short lists.
- Photos are important for professional social media profiles. A 'selfie' profile photo or one featuring your favourite pet, meme, or cartoon character may be appropriate for non-professional accounts but if you're trying to attract the interest of prospective employers, it's better to use a recent and professional looking one of yourself! Not sure what sort of photo you should use? Check out other mining professionals' social media accounts and see what photos they've used. What are most of them wearing? What sort of backgrounds are they posing against? If you were hiring, which ones stand out and make you want to contact the person? Which ones have you thinking 'pass' without wanting to learn anything more about the person? Ideally you want your photo to convey an impression of competency, professionalism, and friendliness. When you've found 'the' photo, be sure to use it across all your social media accounts, personal professional websites, blog or anywhere else online you need to have a profile photo.
- Define your personal brand. Using the same profile photo and name across all your social media and online accounts is an important start. From there, work out your goals, and figure out what makes you different (unique value proposition) to other professionals with similar qualifications and experience. What can you offer the world they don't? What words depict you the best from an onlooker's perspective – ask friends, family and colleagues how they would describe you then collate the responses to come up with a description that neatly tells those who don't know you what they can expect by getting to know you.
- Make your online story sing – what have you done to get where you are? What obstacles have you gone over or around? What goals have you reached, or are close to reaching, and how has all this changed you for the better? Obviously if you can put a professional slant to this then so much the better.
- Don't keep your social media accounts in splendid isolation. Add links that let people take a discovery tour about you. These could be links to a personal website or blog, or to past and present projects you've been involved with.
- By the same token, someone who wants to take this discovery tour should find it easy to do so. The easiest way for them to do that is to ensure all the links to your various online accounts, projects etc are in the one place. For most professionals that's their LinkedIn profile. Alternatively, you could set up a landing page or personal website that can be found by anyone who does an online search for you and put your links there.
- Ensure all your online profiles dovetail. They should all tell the same story – where you are now and where you're going. When you have this down pat and they ALL look good and professional, it's time to add them to your job search materials. Mention the industry specific platforms you belong to in your cover letter. Add your professional social media 'handles' to your resume. Let people know where they can get in touch with you online in your email signature, and business cards.
- Social media is a great way to network, find out who's hiring and firing, unobtrusively bring yourself to the attention of recruiters, and let them find out more about you. However, that's where it should end. Don't contact recruiters and companies via social media to find out about the progress of your job application, or to see how your job interview panned out. If they contact you like this, respond by all means but don't be the instigator of such conversations.
- Keep your profiles up to date and relevant. Ever checked someone's profile only to find they don't appear to have been active for months? Whilst staying on top of your online presence may seem like an onerous task, it's nonetheless an important one if you want to use social media to help you find a job. Fortunately, clever software programs called Scheduling Tools make it easier for you to do things that keep you 'socially active' online without having to think too much about it, like sharing relevant articles from your browser as you come across them.