How to Build Your Personal Brand on Social Media
As the world gets smaller and smaller (well it definitely feels like that anyway), and social media becomes an ever-more pervasive force in our lives, it is imperative for job hunters that you learn how to use social media properly.
If you’re looking for a job (or even thinking about looking for a job) then you really should be using social media as an extension of your CV. This might sound like a bit of a buzzkill, but employers will often look at your social media feeds to see if you’re the right cultural fit for the workplace.
This is especially true in startups – often the personality of a candidate can be more influential in hiring decisions than technical skills. Startups hire individuals and personalities, and your social media presence is very much seen as an extension of your personality.
Here are our tips for making the most of your online self.
Consistency is key to your online presence. If you present yourself in a consistent manner across all your social media platforms you’ll come across as an organised person. Use the same profile picture on every platform (something professional like a headshot – not a selfie with your pet or one of you as a distant blip on the horizon) and make sure your bios convey the same information across the board. You want to look like the full package; someone who’s eminently employable and professional to a tee, but also a well-rounded individual. Easy, eh?
Social media is just that – social. Look for companies you’d like to work for and engage with them online. We’re not saying that if you Re-tweet them a few times they’ll be bowled over and offer you a job on the spot, but if it comes to an interview your name could be familiar to them already – giving you the advantage. Social media, especially platforms like Twitter, is a discourse – if you want to get the most from it you can’t simply project content without engaging with anyone else’s. If you had a friend who only ever spoke about themselves and never asked you about you, you wouldn’t be friends for very long. The same principle applies here. Just make sure your comments are appropriate – if you wouldn’t say it in an interview, don’t put it on Twitter.
A big part of social media being social is producing valuable, worthwhile content. If you can demonstrate to an employer that you’re actively engaged in the industry you want to work in it will go a long way towards setting you apart. Writing blogs, posting articles on LinkedIn, tweeting regularly – these are all things that will look good when an employer does their due diligence. This will also help to build your reputation as a voice in your particular field. Your blogs don’t have to be ground-breaking (for example, if you’re interested in environmental sciences nobody is expecting you to solve climate change), but if they’re well written and well researched they’ll serve their purpose.
This should go without saying – always be professional online. Whether you’re tweeting, blogging, or sharing pictures always make sure you’re putting your best self forward. There’s an office idiom that says “Dance like nobody’s watching, email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition”. The same is very much true for social media. If you cringe at the idea of an employer bringing up one of your posts at an interview it probably shouldn’t be up there in the first place.
Personality and Authenticity
Running parallel to the point above, it’s important for your presence to reflect you. You’re a human being with thoughts and feelings, hobbies and passions – prospective employers want to see that. Most companies won’t be too inclined to hire someone who’s deathly serious all the time – they’ll look for authenticity and personality in your online life. It’s your job as a potential employee to make sure that you strike a balance between the two sides of your personality.
Looking for some advice about how to make a great CV? Eden Scott has some top tips to get you started.
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