How important is social media in your career?
Published: 15th June 2019
In years gone by the only way in which potential employers could decide on a candidates suitability for a certain position and their business would be reviewing an applicant’s CV. However in the modern social media age there are many other platforms now available to employees to demonstrate their skills, experience and most importantly their personal brand.
Applying for a role used to be quite a simple business where a candidate would apply for a role, if suitable then invited for an interview and if they had the experience and skills they would be offered the position. Now there is an extra layer of involvement which social media plays in this process which candidates need to take into account when applying for a position.
Social media plays a key role for both the applicant and also the potential employer. For the applicant social media platforms such as LinkedIn & Twitter allows individuals to build personal brand and create profiles whilst connecting with people across the globe. The ability to personalise content on your own profile page allows applicant’s the ability to add context & content to their skill set.
With over 80% of adults owning a mobile device where they can browse, post and share content 24/7 it has never been so easy for a potential employer to do their own research on potential employees. It is worth bearing in mind that anything posted on the internet is visible for anyone online particularly if you have a public profile. Some of these posts, likes or comments made may shape perceptions that a potential employer has of you so it is worth being thoughtful in your social media activity.
Employers want to hire individuals who are professional and respectful to others and of course everyone is free to upload and share content as they like but it is worth considering that this activity can form potential first impressions before you’ve even met a potential employer.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools around within the professional community and there are certainly ways in which it can benefit your career. LinkedIn has been around longer than Facebook & Twitter and has an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities.
Why is LinkedIn important?
- Hiring managers and recruiters use LinkedIn on a daily basis
- Your LinkedIn Profile is an opportunity to highlight your skill set
- Keeping track of your professional network
- Connecting with senior personnel within your profession gives you an opportunity to understand how to build on your experience to get to their levels.
Key tips on how to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out:
- Spend time to ensure you complete all parts of your LinkedIn profile.
- Make sure you have a professional up to date photo (remember it’s a professional network platform and not Facebook). Your photo should reflect your brand, you can be laughing or striking a pose but make sure it’s a high quality photo.
- Ensure all your responsibilities and job roles are up to date.
- Education: Put any qualifications on your profile and this also applies to those currently studying.
- Show your achievements: think about action words, accomplishments, or certain projects you’ve led and don’t be afraid to shout about them
- Rewrite your headline and highlight your personal brand
- Connect with your colleagues, peers and senior individuals within your industry
- Join relevant groups: when thinking about desired industries its worth joining groups which reflect them
- Ensure to ask for recommendations: a couple every month would soon build up this side of your profile
- Connect with your colleagues this will help increase your outreach
- If you are actively looking for a specific new role then ensure that you use words in your profile that would be on the job description for the role you’re after
- Customise your LinkedIn URL as it becomes much easier to then publicise
- Ensure you have the right endorsements and skills on your profile
- Treat your LinkedIn Profile like your CV: highlight what you’ve done, how well you did and what impact this had on the business.
LinkedIn is effectively a very large job board where job seekers can search for roles by locations or keywords and even if you aren’t hugely active on the market you can set up alerts to keep you informed of certain career opportunities.
Nowadays using LinkedIn is a key element of being a fully-fledged professional in most industries. Having a well thought out profile which matches your CV in terms of skill sets, qualifications and experience is crucial. Profiles are likely to be viewed by both potential employers and also recruiters so being mindful of the type of content you are sharing with a professional network is really important and as such can either further or limit career advancement.
This article is featured in Yorkshire Finance Leaders Magazine Issue 13