Social media has become increasingly important when it comes to your job search and building your online brand and presence. According to Jobvite.com, 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media when recruiting and claim social media gives them more insight into candidates which allows them to make more informed hiring decisions- saving them both time and money.
But social media goes beyond just having a LinkedIn profile- with the advent of online branding; more employers are expecting job candidates to have their own personal online brand and will use what they find online to actively source and vet candidates. It is important to ask yourself: “Does my online identity truly represent me as a whole person?” the likely answer is: probably not.
Below are resources to help you build a positive online brand and get noticed on the World Wide Web. Remember, you do not need to employ every medium, but pick and choose the ones that fit best with you and your targeted industry.
This should be your first stop when beginning to develop your online brand. LinkedIn is most recruiters’ first stop when sourcing and vetting job candidates. Start building your LinkedIn profile by reading our LinkedIn guide and check out the calendar to find out when the next LinkedIn workshops are. Career Development offers LinkedIn 1: Build Your Profile (bring your laptop!), LinkedIn 2: Advanced Networking and LinkedIn 3: Turn Your Profile into a Portfolio.
Twitter is one of the best ways to build a positive online presence while still showcasing your out-of-work personality. Employers hire first for skills and second for personality and fit. Be cognizant to tweet about personal endeavors as well as professional interests, you never know what you may have in common with a recruiter. Rule of thumb: think twice, tweet once.
Twitter is also a great place to spark up conversations with professionals you may admire, especially if you’re in a field that is social media friendly. Follow industry thought leaders and engage in conversation- it may land you an informational interview that, by default, builds your professional network.
Twitter is also a great place to look for jobs. More and more recruiters are tweeting jobs and there are specific company handles that exist only to do that. Be sure to follow @JobHuntOrg and check to see if the companies on your job search target list have special recruiting handles. Get more tips on how to leverage twitter for your job search here.
Blogging is a great way to develop a strong online presence and increase your SEO (search engine optimization). It is also a great way to display your writing abilities and creativity. That said it is not something that should be taken on without some serious thought. Good blogs are updated frequently and developing new and fresh content is key to a blog’s success. Starting a blog and not keeping it up may actually end up hurting you.
WordPress, Blogger (run through your Google account) and Weebly are just a few of the more popular free website hosting sites you can try. If you are looking for something a little different or if you’re easily distracted, check out Mashable’s list of the Best Minimalist Blogging Platforms- most are free. If you decide to commit to blogging, it is a good idea to purchase your domain name. It is generally low cost and will boost your SEO. Lifehacker has a great list of low cost domain name registrars, just make sure you do your research.
Online Resumes and Portfolios
Online resumes are a great way to stand out in a crowd and showcase your accomplishments in a more creative format, while still increasing your SEO. There are multiple ways to approach online resumes (beyond just setting up a LinkedIn account), which span from video resumes, to personal websites to infographics. It’s important to take into account your industry and then choose what format is best for you.
You can always go the old-fashioned way and set up a self-made self-hosted site. This takes more work, but you’re not locked into a template. Again, website hosts like WordPress, Blogger, Weebly and Wix are all good places to start if you want to go this route.
- About.me – one of the most popular nameplate sites and easy to set-up. Similar sites include Flavors.me and re.vu (which makes your resume an infographic!).
- Online portfolios should be a no-brainer for students in the design field, but even those in non-design disciplines could benefit from an online portfolio. It’s a great way to catalogue any projects or creative work you do.
- Carbonmade and Behance are two of the most popular online portfolio hosting sites. Northeastern University provides students with an online portfolio site as well.
- Pinterest is also a cool way to build your brand and showcase your work, especially if you’re a graphic design or photography student.
Two of the most popular visual social mediums, Pinterest and Instagram can be used to build your online presence as well as research certain companies. Companies like GE and NPR are already utilizing Pinterest to attract candidates and give them an inside look into their company while often showcasing a sense of humor with a human element.
Instagram is a great brand building tool for popular fashion labels and other design industries. Lifestyle brands like Lilly Pulitzer, utilize Instagram to promote new products and prints while giving followers an inside look into what it is like to #LoveLilly.
Regardless of whether or not you’re in a creative field, you can follow suit- take advantage of these visual mediums by sharing relevant images on multiple social platforms and by using hashtags that are industry specific.
Be sure to check our calendar for workshops on social media including Who Are You Online and Build Your Brand: How Your Online Persona Can Land You a Job.