There’s a lot of hype around the ways job seekers can take advantage of social media marketing in order to stand out from the crowd, and for good reason. Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn can be utilized to help job seekers not only find jobs, but connections that can help grow a network, create new opportunities, and even help build a personal brand.
If you’re looking to take social media seriously and start increasing your chances of landing the best jobs in your field, here are three things you need to do today:
Optimize Your Profiles and Start Acting Professional
One of the biggest problems most people have with social media is consistency. Different profile pictures, biographies lacking description, and content that really shouldn’t be seen by the public.
Start by adding a high quality profile picture to all of your social media accounts. It doesn’t have to be you in a suit against a white background, it just needs to clearly show your face.
Next, take time to write a short, but sweet biography about yourself and your professional career. You want people to know who you are and what you do without having to dig through your content for additional information.
Finally, make sure you think before posting anything. I have a rule to avoid conversations, debates, and topics that are sensitive. Your view point might win you points with your friends, but displaying your opinion a lot in public forums could put some employers on edge. (If you were to voice an extremely negative opinion, they’d prefer not to be attached to it at all.)
Follow Users in Your Industry and Post Industry Content
Whether you’re a journalist, marketing specialist, programmer, or graphic designer, there are professionals in every industry active on nearly every social media site.
Twitter is particularly great for following and keeping up with industry content, and it’s easy to get started. Simply search for industry keywords in the search bar at the top of the site and click the “Accounts” tab. This will bring you a list of what are likely the top users (and businesses) in your industry.
Use that as a jumping off point to see who they follow, what lists they’re attached to, and get an idea for the type of content they post.
You don’t want to copy what they post, but mimicking someone’s style while you learn the ropes is a great way to discover what works and what doesn’t.
Regularly Interact with Other Industry Professionals
Once you’ve followed the top users and other active industry professionals, start interacting with them on a regular basis. That means if they ask for opinions on a certain industry topic, you should provide them with yours.
When I started getting into social media in 2007, there wasn’t as much noise on these sites as there is today, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make meaningful connections through these sites. It just means you have to work harder today.
People love when you interact with them, and will likely return the favor after only a small amount of contact. After all, they’re there for the same reasons you are: to utilize social media to their professional advantage.
You might find that a few hours a day on social media can tremendously increase your chances of being discovered, allow you to network with your industry’s best and brightest, and connect you directly with the people in charge of hiring decisions within their companies.