If I had a penny for every digital column inch that’s been dedicated to explaining how best to present yourself on social media/how to set up your profile so recruiters can find you/how to attract potential employers, I’d top the Times Rich List by a mile. Sadly I don’t, but I have distilled the available wisdom for you in this multi-part guide to social media, you & your job search…
Part 1 – LinkedIn – the basics
Looking for a new job? Got your CV ready and beautifully formatted? Great. Now it’s time to whip your LinkedIn profile into shape (you might want to turn off your activity broadcasts for this, otherwise your current colleagues will all be notified of your updates).
Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Get one. Seriously. LinkedIn is the most widely used social media platform by recruiters looking to dig up the right candidates for their jobs and it’s a fairly safe bet that when you land an interview the panel will be looking at your LinkedIn profile as well as your CV before they meet you.
What do you put on there? Well, LinkedIn is your online CV, so is should have similar sorts of information. As with your CV try to keep it brief – look at your profile in your browser, the best and most relevant information should be visible without scrolling down. Make sure you fill out your summary and include some keywords.
What keywords should you use? If you’re hoping to be found by a recruiter and matched to your perfect job you’ll need to think about what the job title for that role might be and what skills you’ll need for it. Those are your keywords. Make sure you use them in sentences though, unless weird and illiterate is the impression you’re hoping to make.
Anything else? Yes! Make sure you connect with people (friends, colleagues etc.), join groups and follow companies you’re interested in – all these will improve your ranking in search results, very important if you’re looking for a job! Connecting with people who have similar jobs to the one you do or the one you want will also increase your chances of turning up in the 'People similar to x' bit on their profile. If you’re new to LinkedIn, there’s a good 5-step plan to learning the ropes on HR Bartender.
One final word of advice – If you’re going to upload a profile photo, make it a professional one, i.e. one you’d use at work, for work. No food, children, pets, holiday snaps and definitely no tongue (or catching snowflakes as Suzanne has been known to call it)!*
*Note: If you work in the digital and creative industries these rules may not apply.