The job market is a competitive place – there are often numerous candidates with the same qualifications and skills as you, meaning that choosing one individual can be extremely difficult. This often forces employers to look beyond the CV towards candidate’s social media, websites and blogs to determine their character and personality traits.
So, stand out for all the right reasons! Here are some top tips on how to get noticed professionally.
Build a portfolio website and get a LinkedIn profile
Whatever your specialty – bakery, journalism, photography, hairdressing – set up a portfolio website and showcase your talents online. CVs, personal statements and covering letters are typically only a textual representation of your talents so take advantage of the world wide web and upload photos and further information on what you can do online.
In addition to a web page, why not create a LinkedIn Profile – LinkedIn is the ultimate social network for business professionals who want to connect with like-minded individuals and stay in the loop with others in their field, and with previously made connections. So get involved! Use keywords in your summary, add a skills section to your profile and add your current job title and location to ensure you are searchable.
Make connections online and offline
Once you have your LinkedIn account – don’t neglect it! Search for and connect with people from your course and from any jobs or placements you’ve had and any networking events you’ve been to. Once you’ve started to build contacts and create posts, it’ll get easier for connections to find you and vice versa, as your posts will feature in the news feed for second and third connections to see.
But don’t just focus on your online connections. Making connections online is important of course, but making connections in real life is just as, if not even more important. Speak to people at events and be seen. It’s good for people to be able to put a face to a name especially if they’ve found you online, so go to networking events and get your name and brand out there!
Be a good communicator
Once you have your website and social platforms up and running don’t forget to update them – post about your achievements and your goals. Social platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram are often also used for job hunting. I interviewed Social Media Consultant, Rebecca Anne Hunter who was invited to an assessment day and was offered a 12-month internship in London after sending one tweet highlighting her experience and why she’d make a good candidate for the position.
Rebecca shared that “RMP Enterprise, the company behind RateMyPacement.co.uk, wanted to invite a “Wild Card” to their 2012-2013 Marketing Executive Placement Assessment Day. There were a lot of brilliant 140 character tweets submitted by other hopeful Wild Card applicants but I kept my fingers crossed and was quietly confident that the tweet demonstrated my eagerness to be involved in a multitude of projects which would reflect the energy that I would bring to the internship.”
But don’t over-communicate
While it is unlikely that potential employers will scroll through all 946 photos you took in Magaluf in 2013, they will likely have a quick snoop. In fact, 60% of employers check out potential candidates on social media before offering them the job so keep unprofessional accounts private or clean up your profiles!
Rebecca recommends creating a strategy that allows you to showcase your skills and achievements to future employers while also allowing you to share updates and photos with friends and family.
Rebecca explains that “I currently use my Instagram account to share updates and blog posts about my life working remotely and offering tips around social media and marketing. My LinkedIn is professional and my Facebook page is private. This allows me to share the types of social content I want to with my different “social audiences”.
At the end of the day, posting on social media is a matter of common sense. If you don’t want a future employer to see the content you’re posting then set your accounts to private. If, however, you are adding value and sharing your interests that are aligned with the types of businesses that you want to work for then go ahead and share, share, share!”
Set up a signature
While it may not seem like a big deal, potential employers will notice and care about the little things and efforts you make ahead of interviews – ensure you send any enquiries or job applications from your most professional-sounding email account and set up an email signature with your full name, current position and links to your social media and portfolio pages. Any emails you do send from your personal account will then link back to the platforms you want them to see.