Over the last several years, social media has emerged as a crucial job search tool used by a diverse set of job seekers across a wide range of industries. Creating a social media profile is only the first step. To succeed in your job search, there are a few additional steps you should take to optimize your social media profile.

  • Identify your career objectives. Before you start a job search, you need to set clear, specific goals. What are you trying to accomplish with social media? How does social media fall into your job search strategy? Take time to determine your objectives and conduct research to determine the type of job, salary, location, benefits, and work environment you are seeking.

  • Select the right social media platforms. LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms to use for job search and career advancement purposes. Depending on your career goals and field of work, you may also benefit from developing strong profiles on other platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    All of these social media platforms allow you to join online communities, build meaningful relationships, and promote your skills and expertise. Some platforms are more beneficial for certain roles or industries than others, so take time to conduct research to determine which platform is best suited for your specific purposes.

  • Pay attention to the settings. To build an effective social media profile, you need to become familiar with the platform’s settings and visibility options. With the correct combination of profile settings, data, and information, you can improve your profile’s searchability and maximize your chances of being discovered by an employer or recruiter.

  • Get to know the platform’s search engine. Ever heard of SEO – i.e. search engine optimization? When you are looking for a job using social media platforms like LinkedIn, SEO becomes critical. The more relevant information you provide, the better. That means you should build out a complete employment and education history that highlights your most relevant skills, training, and work experience – including volunteer work and special projects. Some platforms allow you to include other information and interests, like sports teams and industry experts you follow, awards you have won, certifications you have received, etc.

  • Do not forget the visual appeal. To make a positive first impression, your profile photo should look professional. Have a recent professional headshot? If not, now may be the time to order one. It is critical to add a professional-looking photo to your profile page – one that effectively captures your personal brand. The best profile photo is shot facing front from your shoulders up. However, ANY profile photo is better than NO profile photo.

  • Conduct competitor, employer, & industry research. Before you dive too deep into your own profile, spend some time researching potential employers, job opportunities in your field, and other professionals with a similar background, position, or level of experience. This insight can provide valuable perspective to help you establish clearer career objectives, learn more about employer expectations, and build a more effective profile page.

  • Start building your network. Why should you prioritize networking during a job search? Employers are impressed when candidates are well-connected with their community or industry. You are also more likely to be invited to interview for a job if you are referred and endorsed by a current employee. Plus, you never know when one of your connections may share a job opportunity that is just PERFECT for you.

    Building a strong network takes time and effort – especially if you are new to a social media platform. Start by creating a networking strategy plan that includes connecting with friends, family, former colleagues, supervisors, and college peers. If you are unsure how to effectively network, find a professional networking expert who can provide a range of effective relationship-building tools and techniques you can use to connect with more professionals in your industry and build a strong professional network. 

  • Find ways to engage with your social community. To demonstrate your industry knowledge and expertise, seek out opportunities to contribute to industry-relevant discussions in meaningful ways. You can do this by posting original content, liking or commenting on others’ posts, or sharing others’ insightful content to your own page. Follow companies and influencers of interest to stay informed. You can even send direct messages through LinkedIn to connect with potential employers or other contacts in a more personal way.

  • Evaluate your profile from an “employer’s” perspective. 95% of employers and recruiters admit to using social media platforms like LinkedIn to check out candidates. Therefore, you need to look at your profile from the perspective of a potential employer. After you have built the foundation of your social media profile, take a fresh look at it from an employer’s point-of-view. What will a potential employer be looking for? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    • Are there certain skills or experiences that are especially important or valuable in your industry? How well are you highlighting those capabilities? (Check the job description to be sure you are highlighting the training, skills, and experiences the employer wants in their employee to fulfill the role.)

    • Does your profile look professional and polished – without coming off as inauthentic or questionable? Will it raise any red flags for employers?

    • From an outside perspective, what conclusions might an employer come to about your social capabilities? (This is an especially important factor for positions in sales, marketing, and business.)

    • How socially active do you appear? (Based on your network, posts, comments, and other engagement.)

    • Are there posts, images, or information on your profile that may cause your employer to make snap judgements? Consider taking them down or only making public the posts you’d like potential employers to see.

Career Creators Consulting | Social Media Coaching

Whether you need to create or update a social media profile or want our expert coaches to teach you how to optimize your existing profile to attract more employers, we have you covered!

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