These days, the term “branding” doesn’t just apply to businesses. With a tell-all Facebook proﬁle and a, shall we say, “dynamic” Twitter feed, you’ve got your own brand, too. It can be a real hazard when job hunting if your presence is focused more on the social aspect of social media, as employers may not ﬁnd those photos of your drunken weekend as amusing as you do. However, online platforms can also be the perfect place to build your personal brand.
Using business marketing tips as our inspiration, let’s take a look at a few ways you can best showcase your skills with social media:
LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the ﬁrst places you stopped on your job hunt, but if you’re like most people, chances are you probably don’t know the many different ways you can use the platform to showcase your skills.
Fill out your proﬁle. This means going beyond scribbling in a few job titles to really going into depth about all that you’ve done and being hyper-speciﬁc about what you do. If you’re not clear on this, a career aptitude test might be able to help you narrow your focus. Doing so will not only give employers and networking contacts a richer sense of who you are, but it will also get your proﬁle ranked higher on Google search results, both for your name and for any job-related keywords. Make sure to ask for endorsements and to prominently display links to any portfolios, media stories or other examples of your work.
Post or write interesting articles. Regularly sharing helpful and actionable articles on LinkedIn that relate to your industry will show employers that you’re passionate about what you do and are engaged in advancing the field. It’s all the better if some of these expert articles are penned by yours truly. However, unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn won’t let you directly publish blogposts on the platform. If you write your own articles, you can either publish them on your own blog and share the link, or you can submit your article to be featured in the LinkedIn Pulse program.
Join a group and get commenting in forums. LinkedIn has a diverse ecosystem of alumni and professional groups. Joining them gives you an opportunity to do some digital networking as you start compelling discussion threads and comment on others.
Find hiring managers. LinkedIn is a treasure trove not just of your information but of employer contact information as well. As you reach out to hiring managers, use their LinkedIn proﬁles for research so you can tailor your cover letters to the speciﬁc person rather than trying a one size ﬁts all approach.
Follow your target companies. Most companies over a certain size have LinkedIn feeds where they post expert articles and job openings. Being an active commenter on these feeds will gain you exposure within the company, and of course, you’ll be among the ﬁrst to apply to your dream job.
Google+ is one of the fastest growing social networks. It’s a nice blend of social and business, and it’s a little more casual than LinkedIn but it’s not so relaxed as Facebook or Twitter. If you’re new to the platform, we recommend starting with a guide to Google+, as the platform offers a number of features that are unique and compelling but that may require a little guidance to master.
Use the site as a portfolio. Other than Pinterest, there are few social media sites as visually pleasing at G+. As such, consider varying your feed between shared articles, updates, and examples of your work. Adding images to your links will greatly improve the viewer’s experience, making them much more likely to click on the material provided.
Network in circles. One of the most useful tools on Google+ is Circles, a feature that allows you to easily organize your contacts into different groups and control privacy settings for each one. This makes it easy to funnel articles and status updates to the people to whom they’re most relevant at exactly the right time — an important feature, as there’s no use spamming people who aren’t engaged with what you have to say.
Host a Hangout. Another great G+ feature is Hangouts. This feature is kind of like Skype but way better in that you can hang out with a number of people at a time and there are plenty of extra features, like games and special effects. You could host a Hangout just to broadcast your job search, but a much better idea is to, say, host a panel with former colleagues and industry experts in which you discuss the issues most pressing to your industry. This will establish your reputation and personality in a much more powerful way than even a resume can do.
Like it or not, every job seeker has a digital footprint — one that employers are sure to ﬁnd. But that doesn’t have to mean a loss of control. With a little forethought, social media can be one of the best places to build your personal job and land yourself a job.
Enjoy this article? You’ve got time for another! Check out these related articles:
- Tips For Making Your Online Image Employer-Ready
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