Social media is not only a relatively new phenomenon, it has also, during its short lifespan, seen rapid advances in the types of social media available and the uses people place on them. Facebook, started a decade ago in a dorm room, currently has 1.15 billion users. Twitter has half of that. LinkedIn, with 238 million users, might seem insignificant in comparison.
LinkedIn, alone, is an excellent resource for both job seekers and recruiters. As a job seeker, you can quickly search LinkedIn to find people in a position similar to one you want so you can see what qualifications you may need.
Make sure you have a well written, spell checked, summary. Many LinkedIn profiles lack this and it is a quick way for you to stand out from the crowd. Also, be sure your profile is 100% complete. Recruiters might pass you by if there is missing information and take that as a sign that you simply signed up for the site long ago and have taken no interest in it since.
But, as mentioned above, LinkedIn is not the only avenue for recruiters to reach you. Believe it or not, many recruiters use Facebook as well. This just emphasizes the broader point that, if you are truly interested in keeping your options open or are actively seeking a new position, make sure you have a good social media presence.
Career Builder published a study showing that:
- 37% of companies use social media to research potential job candidates.
- 65% of the research was done to see if the candidate presented himself or herself professionally. All those Facebook pictures from college? You might want to take those down.
- 49% of candidates were disqualified for a job because a search revealed inappropriate pictures from social media.
Most of all, be consistent. Create a personal brand. Whether that be a logo or a picture of yourself, use that in all your social media so that people can easily recognize you. Use similar information but not identical. If your LinkedIn bio is the same as your Twitter bio, that is a problem, especially because a Twitter bio must be so short. Have a general theme but do not use the exact same words. You want people to be able to instantly recognize each of your social media profiles as being yours but you want them to find slightly different information on each one. For instance, your Twitter might include many links to articles or thoughts by you regarding your field of expertise. It might also include a picture of your time at the beach relaxing last weekend. That is okay. Your LinkedIn, however, should remain entirely professional.
We live in a world today that is growing ever smaller. Much of this is thanks to social media which is a useful tool to stay in touch with family and friends who are far away, to see the pictures of the grandkids at the park and to learn about current events. But, there are downsides as well, if you fail to properly manage your social media presence. Take action today and do not fall victim to losing out on a potentially great opportunity because you just can not bear to remove certain pictures or comments from your social media. Be smart. You are a professional. Show it.
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