‘On average we spend four hours per day on social media, that’s half a working day’ (Nyman, 2014)
So what if instead of simply using these sites to socialise, we are also using them to make professional connections and further our careers? Such use of social media is an incredibly powerful resource, with 93% of recruiters utilising social media to support recruiting efforts (Jobvite, 2014).
Professional online profiles offer so much more than a standard CV, you have the ability to constantly keep them updated at the click of a button, instantly informing potential employers of additional content. You should ensure all of your online identities portray the professional persona you are trying to present without excluding any form of communication than may assist you in accomplishing this. Your aim is to sell your brand; this is yourself, your own personal brand.
The TEK Talk video above gives numerous tips on how this can be achieved
Through this video and further reading, I have selected some key points that can help develop an effective professional profile:
- Your online profiles must be consistent – Include the same full name, username and picture on all accounts. Continuity ensures employers can be sure they are searching for the right candidate.
- Professional profiles aren’t just limited to Linkedin and Facebook, blogging can also help you get a job. Blogging about a professional area of interest is a great way to demonstrate dedication, genuine passion and creativity to future potential employers.Typically you are competing against 100-300 applicants for the same job (Nyman, 2014), a blog may be your way of standing out from the crowd.
- About.me and Linkedin deserve special mention. About.me is a unique site, acting like an online business card, improving your searchability and allowing individuals to easily access your Linkedin, blog and professional portfolio.
Linkedin is the most popular recruiting website, therefore it is important to have a eyecatching profile. Demonstrate passion for your area of interest, join groups, follow companies you admire, connect and network.
5. Email signature – this is another form of online business card, everytime you send an email is another opportunity to promote your brand. As a committee member for a medical peer teaching society, promoting the ‘Students4Students’ brand is vital. A brief email signature is one method to help with promotion.
6. Google yourself – do all the profiles portray a professional persona of yourself? Are there any inappropriate photos or comments? 55% of recruiters reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile, with the majority of these reconsiderations being negative (Jobvite, 2014). The case of Justine Sacco and this article demonstrate the very real risks of being careless on social media.
Jobvite, Social Recruiting Survey Results, 2014. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 8th March 2016].
Nyman, N. (2014) Using social media in your job search. Available at: http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ [Accessed 9th March 2016].
BBC News. (2016). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] Available at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 [Accessed 8 March 2016].
Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=1 [Accessed 8 March 2016].
The Employable, (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed 9 March 2016].
Sherriff, L. (2015) Medical Student Banned From Being a Doctor After Posting ‘I Will Find You’ Taken Quote on Facebook. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/24/medic-student-struck-off-for-posting-i-will-find-you-quote-from-taken-on-facebook_n_8636170.html [Accessed 12 March 2016].
Reeves, J. (2014) Using Social Media To Promote Yourself (or Your Small Business) | AARP TEK Talk. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCKOu6PHTy0&w=560&h=315 [Accessed 12 March 2016]