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How can I use social media to help me get a job?

Friday 02 March 2018

Reading time: 2 minutes

Good social media practice can make all the difference to your job applications. Here’s how to make the most of your online presence.
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Tip #1: Stay professional

Employers and recruiters actively headhunt through social media. If you’re open to being recruited, start by having quick scan through your timeline and deleting any old posts that might be inappropriate.

From then on, adopt a more professional tone online. You can always have conversations with friends in private groups, or on platforms like WhatsApp.

Tip #2: Be proactive

Taking the initiative and displaying your enthusiasm can go along way. Make the first move: approach companies directly for advice on getting a position, even if there isn’t a job advertised. LinkedIn connections are a great way to do this.

If you want to work in a certain field, make sure you’re fully up to speed. Follow organisations and news sites to keep on top of industry news. The extra revision will come across in interviews and applications, and show that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Tip #3: Optimise your profiles

By making your online presence as full, relevant and engaging as possible, you can strengthen your applications, and get noticed by recruiters. Include a professional looking photo in your bio. A plain white wall is an ideal backdrop.

Branch out onto different platforms, keep your profile updated, write blog posts, make videos, and use your creativity to stand out from the crowd. It will display your imagination, ambition and achievements.

LinkedIn asks you to list your current employment. If you’re out of work, then don’t worry: you can say things like “actively searching for graduate positions in the IT sector”, for example, and turn a potential negative into an eye-catching positive. You can also edit your headline to include your course.

Tip #4: Don’t be intimidated

In day-to-day life, it’s difficult to approach people you don’t know – especially if they might be in senior positions. Twitter and LinkedIn are designed for just that. Don’t be afraid to contribute to discussions, start conversations, ask questions and show your interest in an organisation.

Remember, there’s no such thing as ‘lurking’ in the professional sphere; I use the term ‘positive silence engagement’. It’s totally fine to get the measure of a topic, group or conversation before joining in.

If you get an interview, a quick post to note your enthusiasm can make a great impression in advance. Likewise, you can mention how well the interview went afterwards – just remember to @ the relevant accounts.

Tip #5: Be seen

Make sure you’re visible to employers. Reiterate your skills and experience through tags, headers and descriptions so that you appear in Google and LinkedIn searches, and make sure your location is correct.

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