Like it or not, social media is becoming an ever-important job search tool. Used properly, social sites can be highly beneficial in cutting out human resources and connecting with hiring managers and thoughts leaders directly. Used improperly, you can find yourself leaving a permanent online footprint that will keep recruiters from reaching out to you. [efc_twitter text="Increasingly, headhunters and HR managers tell us that they’ll conduct a social search on a candidate before moving forward."]
To help navigate the online waters, we spoke to social recruitment specialist Katrina Collier, founder of Winning Impression. Here are her four tips on how to use social media sites to your benefit while avoiding their pitfalls.
Beware the holiday social inspection
Increasingly, recruiters and hiring managers will look for job seekers on social channels… not just LinkedIn. They’ll see what you’re tweeting and look at your Facebook profile for to see what you’re interested in, so don’t let them see any unsavory posts and comments. Take ownership of it. Lock it down by clicking on the padlock (top right), audit posts and photos you’re tagged in, and take care when commenting on public posts.
Make sure your social pictures work for, not against you
It’s the time of the year when we’re in lots of photos but that doesn’t mean you should use that drunken snap as your profile or banner picture. I’ve personally seen a high level professional lose a contract to work in an investment bank because she looked drunk in her profile picture. Don’t let that be you. Be objective, does your photo show you in the best light? Would you hire you?
Network beyond LinkedIn
Ever had that feeling of connecting with someone on LinkedIn and thinking, "now what?” The trouble is, it’s not social. Everyday your news feed is reset to the top (from recent) and therefore your organic posts have little visibility, which makes networking very hard! Instead, try using a Chrome extension like Discoverly or Connect6 to see where else recruiters are interacting, avoiding Facebook, go and network with them on other sites like Twitter, Google+, and more.
Don’t broadcast “give me a job”
Whether you’re on LinkedIn, Twitter or another, avoid updates that basically say, “give me a job!” They reek of desperation and that’s not the impression you want to make. Have a tactic. Find people to follow or connect with who are in your target company or industry and gain their trust through positive social media etiquette before you ask about opportunities. Find valid reasons to keep in touch, like sharing an article you saw that would be of interest to them. Remember, all they’re thinking is, “what’s in it for me?"
Katrina Collier is founder of Winning Impression. Since 2009 she’s been showing companies how to add social recruiting to their hiring methods and job seekers how to use social media to land their dream job. When not out walking her dogs in London UK, or indulging in her Instagram addiction, she can be found speaking at recruitment events and HR conferences and writing about the use of social media for recruiting. Follow her @WinningImpress