With social media becoming an increasingly ubiquitous tool for online job searches, it’s important that as a candidate, you know how to optimise your social presence to receive the full benefit from it.

According to Jobvite.com, 93% of recruiters currently use social media to find candidates for all types of positions, allowing employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside of your CV, cover letter or interview.

As such, social media is without doubt a key tool that can be used to attract employers from or approach potential employers with. Your profile is more than your profession, so it’s important you convey your credentials, but be careful you don’t overstate your professional experience.  There can be a fine line between highlighting your achievements and coming across as being arrogant.

A recruiter’s point of view

When a recruiter like myself searches social media, there are two aspects of a profile that really stand out:

  1. The number of connections – just as in our offline lives, the better connected you are in the business world, the more you’re being noticed.  Be strategic about who you are connecting with; invest in building your connections with the right people.  LinkedIn can help you expand your network by using the ‘Get Introduced’ feature and start reaching out to immediate contacts for referrals.  What’s more, if you have a positive number of connections, it generally highlights not only the fact you’re active, but more importantly, you have information and expertise to share, something that’s clearly appreciated and respected by your peers.
  2. Ensure your profile is grammatically correct – employers look at small details in your profile to see how effective you are at communicating.  Regardless of the role you’re applying for, this is a skill everyone needs to have to land their dream position.

Importantly, the ability to find you easily is a clear necessity, so be sure to feel confident your profile (and updates in general) truly reflect you, your skills and your passions.  If your presence doesn’t include any of the words, phrases or terminology one would associate with your role or career path, you’re relying on someone making an assumption that you’re actually in the role (or are looking for the role) you do.

Hints & tips

One of my regularly shared tips when it comes to using social media as a job search tool is that discretion matters.  Be careful you’re not betraying the confidence of your current company or clients, and never highlight any of your clients’ names in your profile unless agreed.

With that said, however, your social media profile can be a great showcase area, so don’t stray away from name dropping – just make sure you do so with all of the right permissions in place.

What’s more, personality really is key! Recruiters not only look at skill fit, but also whether you’re a culture fit. Be professional in your activity, but showcase who you are, laying out your ideas by commenting or participating, all of which also help to get you noticed!

However you choose to network and promote your professionalism, when it comes to priming yourself for job searching, social media is the way to go.  Having a multitude of benefits, if you utilise the resource fully and effectively, there’s very little reason why it can’t be the key to securing your dream job.

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