Recruiters have been using social media searches as a due diligence check of prospective employees for some time – simply searching candidate names to check the digital history out there and how it fits with the business and the professional image presented. Candidates, too, use social media to job hunt, with job searches on Twitter and LinkedIn particularly common.
However, if it’s been a while since you sought a new position, and your social media has been merely – well – social, then there are a few sensible steps to take to clean up and capitalise on your online presence before starting your job hunt.
Change profile image
Changing your profile image on any social media account can be helpful – not only will it help you make sure the picture is still relevant, but on LinkedIn and Facebook the change will also send an automatic message to your connections, helping you become front of mind as your job search starts. Needless to say, some images are more appropriate than others when considering a career change. It might be time to switch out the image of you with a massive cocktail for something more business sensitive.
Edit and complete your details
Whichever social media sites you use – make sure you use them to their fullest with a complete biography section. The bio you use on Twitter will help new followers get to know you (and may be the first thing prospective recruiters see about you).
You should also maintain a complete profile on Facebook – obviously, the amount of detail made public can be a concern to some, but at least updating your city details will help recruiters who chance upon your profile to get a sense of where you are. The professional profile section on Facebook is also underused, but can bring benefits and, naturally, when starting to search for a job, you will want to make sure your LinkedIn is profile is up to date, complete and professional.
Check your details are all still relevant
An area so obvious yet often overlooked is to update contact details – particularly on LinkedIn. Ensure that the contact email and phone details remain up to date, as these tend to change more frequently than the main profile details might.
Understand how the different sites can support your search
Once your job search is underway, take time to understand how the different social media channels can help you in your job hunt.
- LinkedIn is a vital method of showcasing your skills and keeping up to date with jobs on offer. Search positions using the LinkedIn app or join relevant groups according to your career area.
- Twitter, similarly, can be a great place to build the network that will support your job search. Reach out to people who interest you professionally, and follow relevant companies and industry experts to keep informed and see job adverts when they are tweeted out rather than having to scour the company websites for them.
- Finally, Facebook is often overlooked when it comes to job hunting, but with the search function you can see friends and groups who might be the connections you need to progress your career. Simply search a company name if you’re interested in checking if any of your connections work there, a location if you want to check out who’s living in the city of your dreams, and a relevant group if you just want to join the community centred around your future career goals.
The results you turn up will vary according to how large your network is, and how fully people have completed their profiles, but there may well be a gem of a connection there that you would have otherwise overlooked – and job hunting is often as much about who you know as it is about what you know.
Take some time once you have tweaked your CV to review your online presence and make sure it’s serving you well in your job hunt, and you could find that the route to your dream job is right there.