by Ben Batten
Job hunting can be extremely frustrating. The vicious cycle of spending a myriad of hours crafting that perfect resume that may not garner any attention; to attending countless of never-ending interviews without bagging that dream job prove to be challenging.
Coupled with the impending assimilation of social media as a growing tool for recruitment, we witness an added dimension to maintain a laudable profile online. The job climate is deviating; and so are the means of recruitment and job hunting. It is therefore as imperative; if not more important to ensure your online presence is as stellar as your resume; where your “story” on social media can impact your chances of gaining traction on that dream job.
Undeniably, the paradigm has shifted. Organizations and hiring managers are increasingly starting to peruse potential hires’ social media profiles when recruiting. Assuming you are on a hunt for a new job, regardless of the industry, there is not an excuse to avoid bearing an online presence on LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Social media can be deemed as a boon or bane in the light of job hunting. While it can propel you forward ahead of other competing candidates in terms of personality, communication, networking and referrals; it can also be your downfall; with a wall laden with risqué images, vulgarities, heavy references to alcohol etc.
And here you think one can be maintaining freedom of speech on social media without much consequence. Unfortunately, the opportunity cost for a poor hire is exorbitant; and when organizations hire, they want and hope for the best. It does not justify risking a candidate who is cavalier on their social media profile.
What then can one do to improve your “employability” on social media?
Summary and Photo
Have the tenacity to construct an elevated summary statement to ensure it contains tangible achievements; as opposed to mere responsibilities. Do inject some form of personality into your summary as prospective hiring and recruiters alike skew towards checking your LinkedIn summary first. Hence it is of utmost importance your summary statement portray quantifiable results and a captivating story that differentiates you.
Incorporate an appropriate photo. You can never be too far off choosing a professional photo as opposed to a bedroom selfie or one of you during a massive night out. You want to ensure you captivate your potential hirer at the right level from the onset.
Enhance Visibility and Demonstrate Expertise
More than half of the job seeking population utilizes social media daily. You are more likely to get noticed by your potential hire if your wall is marked by interesting observations relevant to your field; participation in relevant groups/pages. Let your personality shine through with appropriate photos, jokes, links etc.
We are all acquainted with friends on LinkedIn or Facebook who are currently employed in your target organizations. Be sure to touch base with them and keep them updated on your accomplishments. If they have an in-house employment referral program, do not hesitate to reach out to them when you chance upon an opportunity you would like to explore. Always keep in mind though, that people are always more open and willing to refer potential candidates only if they are confident they are a good fit for the organization and are able to vouch for their abilities and character. Of course, reaching out to specialist recruiters in your space is also highly recommended, as these are the people that can advise and guide you!
With the changing landscape, it is almost taken for granted you ought to not only maintain; but ensure your online profile is outstanding enough for you to nab that dream job!