You can find about a million articles online about how to “optimize your social profiles” for your job search. I’m guilty of it too. While it’s certainly valid content, it’s not necessarily groundbreaking. Even worse, it is definitely not going to DIFFERENTIATE you from everyone else who has read the same tips and advice. In order to really stand out it’s necessary to actually put your social profiles to work for you. Don’t just make your profiles attractive to future employers, connect and promote yourself via your social channels to make sure you’re the top candidate for the job.
How? These 5 strategies will help make sure you aren’t relying on online application submissions to gain traction in your career search.
Publish Articles on LinkedIn
Establish your authority and thought leadership in your field by publishing long-form articles on LinkedIn. Consider highlighting a recent trend you’ve noticed, summarizing a success story, or even interviewing an influencer (see number 2!) Not only will this put you among an elite group of influencers who have shared their content on the platform, but it will also show up among search results when employers Google your name. As LinkedIn has recently opened this up to all users, there is still perceived exclusivity for those who publish articles on the platform – take advantage of it!
Connect with Influencers
Are there rockstars in your industry that are widely recognized and respected? Use your social platforms to connect and engage with them. Interview them for your blog, take them to coffee to pick their brains, or just comment on their recent article. Be specific and strategic about the influencers you target to make sure you are meeting the right people. You never know what opportunities may come as a result of your new relationships and potential employers will likely be impressed by your initiative and connections.
Provide Relevant Commentary
Your social platforms are a great tool to provide relevant commentary on happenings within your industry and the broader market. Keep an eye out for news stories that relate to your industry or role and share poignant and intelligent thoughts about their effects. For example, as a marketing expert, you could comment on how to capitalize on the Olympics, the election, or other timely events from a promotional perspective. This allows you to highlight your expertise without having to write a full blog post on each topic. It also demonstrates that you keep up with relevant trends in the industry and are committed to learning.
Be Well Rounded
Don’t be afraid to share your personality! Highlight your hobbies, community involvement, and interests rather than hiding them as so many job seekers do. People hire people, not resumes so it is increasingly important for professionals to take advantage of a variety of channels to demonstrate both their proficiency and personality. Chances are, this will allow your prospective employers to connect with you on a personal level with common interests. The key is to craft a “brand” or presence for yourself that encapsulates many aspects of your personality and life while also demonstrating professionalism and expertise.
Lift Others Up
Use your social channels to celebrate and promote your current colleagues and connections. Did a friend get a promotion, publish a book, or start a business? Share a celebratory status! This is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationships with your network and stay in touch with colleagues. It can also lead to a conversation where you could share that you’re looking for your next career move. Outside of the networking implications, a positive social presence also shows prospective managers that you are supportive and likely to be an excellent team member.