Employability and social media
Your prime concern may be perfecting your CV, but if your social media presence online is lacking, it may have more of an effect on your job search than you realise.
Blog regular, Kim from INTO Gloucestershire, is back with advice for those of you starting to consider your job options for after you finish studying.
Many employers will look up potential future employees on social media before hiring, so perhaps it’s time for a quick audit of your social media accounts…
Social Media Working Against You
The Rude Post
Everyone does it. You’ve had a bad day and written a ranting Facebook status or tweet about something/someone to get it off your chest.
Unfortunately, many employers are looking back through old posts to get an idea of what kind of person you are.
Simply go back through and delete all those posts (however funny they might have been) that you wouldn’t want your potential employer to see.
While photos of you sitting around a table with alcohol may not cause offence to all future employers, that really dodgy one you took on holiday might cause some issues.
Deleting embarrassing/inappropriate photos, or asking friends to take them down, is a good idea for your job hunt.
Maybe put them in a photo album instead, and remember your Facebook profile photos are public – so set older ones to private, ensuring that only 1 or 2 are visible to everyone.
If you haven’t tightened your privacy settings already, now is a good time.
Make sure your profile isn’t open to the public. The ‘Friends’ or ‘Friends of Friends’ settings help maintain your privacy.
Removing yourself from ‘Networks’ on Facebook also limits the about of people that can find you, and helps keep your personal and professional lives separate.
Keep it clean from now on
Once you’ve cleaned up your profile (sorry blue-haired 15 year old me), try and keep it clean from now on.
Posting bad things about your boss or company once you have the job is a very bad move.
Think before you post! What you post today can impact your future.
Social Media Working With You
Social media is not all bad, and taking no part in it could be as equally damaging to your employability. Doing it right can actually enhance your job prospects!
Every university student should be creating LinkedIn profiles as soon as they can, and embarking on networking.
Creating a LinkedIn is Key
Employers will look you up on LinkedIn when you’ve applied for jobs.
While your Facebook and Twitter are personal platforms, your LinkedIn is the professional side you do want them to see. So make sure its there and that it’s showing off your best side.
You don’t have to wear a suit for your LinkedIn Profile photo, but try and look as professional as possible.
Bikini holiday shots or fancy dress nights out should be avoided. Don’t go for group photos either. They want to see you, not your friends!
If you don’t have a job then use your course and Graduate or Student. e.g. ‘Business Studies Graduate’.
Leaving it blank or just writing ‘student’ doesn’t quite cut it.
Remember to add INTO
Add all your educational experience to your profile. Whatever university you attend for your degree, remember to include foundation and preparatory courses and use them to beef up your education section.
Showing employers that you’ve studied internationally is impressive, so show it off.
Joining groups on LinkedIn is the best way to network and make connections with people who can help you into the industry you want to work in.
Adding people with job titles similar to the kind of position you’re looking for will help, as you can see their experience and what kind of things you need to be working on.
Joining groups will also give you access to opportunities posted up that you wouldn’t normally see.
Skills and Endorsements
Starting a LinkedIn account now means you can build up your skills and endorsements before you starting looking for work.
Look at the role descriptions of the jobs you’d like to apply for after you finish your studies, and select your skills from there. Getting your course friends to endorse you on those skills shows your ability to network.
After any work experience you do, make sure your employer leaves you an endorsement on your LinkedIn. This shows you worked hard and were taking it seriously. Why not ask your course tutors too?!
LinkedIn is your digital CV
Your LinkedIn is your digital CV, but while CVs must be to the point and relevant to the specific job you’re applying to, your LinkedIn account can have your full range of skills.
Make sure you include examples of any blog posts or design work you have done to your profile.
Engage in LinkedIn
It’s very easy to spot people who have created their LinkedIn just because they ‘have to’. Make sure you keep it up to date, add new connections, endorse your friends, requests endorsements and build your profile up.
Having a blank profile is just as bad as no profile.
The most important thing to consider with social media and employability is that employers aren’t trying to catch you out. They just want to get to know you and social media is the best way.
They want to hire not only the person who is most qualified, but also the person who will fit in with company.
And remember is works both ways, you can also look up your future employer and see what kind of company you will be working for, which is just as important.
Looking for more advice on sprucing up your LinkedIn? Read up on 7 tips for creating an awesome LinkedIn profile, How LinkedIn can land you that dream career, or more from Kim, with Top 10 tips to writing a winning CV.