It’s no secret that by now social media should be an integral part of your job search and career growth strategy by now. Beyond uploading your resume, it’s about strengthening your online footprint, entering the inner circle of people who matter and becoming an active part of their network.
Let’s apply The ACE Principle [what you Absorb, what you Comprehend and how you can Excel based on that information] and arrive at ten effective Dos and Don’ts to ACE your social media career expedition.
When You Absorb:
Beyond job hunting, social media sites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter can be a terrific way to connect with head hunters and organization heads who can help you get closer to your intended goals. When you network judiciously, you will enter the inner circle – and will find job leads and openings first – sometimes before they are posted anywhere else. In addition, you can use your connections to get referrals and inside information on organizations.
What You Comprehend:
More and more companies are using social media to find and vet job candidates, and more often, social media is giving them equal reasons to not hire a candidate. Social networking sites still need to be used in the way their name implies: for interacting with others in order to build relationships. By being genuinely likeable and providing value to your audience, you can be well on your way to social media mastery. And a smart social media practitioner is one who knows how to take relationships from online to offline.
How You Can Excel:
Here are 10 practical ‘Dos’ to tip the hiring scales in your favour and 10 ‘Don’ts’ which if ignored could trip you up on the social media landscape.
1. Do streamline your profiles. Your Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube and of course Google+ properties all appear in Google Search. If possible, use your keywords in your usernames.
2. Do expand your network. Add as many contacts you meet in real life as possible to various social media profiles, send them a hello message and stay in touch.
3. Do give first to get later. Share helpful, inspiring content with your audience. The more value you offer, the better the odds of you getting noticed and receiving that dream invitation or call.
4. Do be up-to-date about the developments in your industry. Be a thought-leader in changes taking place in your field. Scan the news and events of the day, share them and add your perspective by commenting on them.
5. Do convey a consistent professional image at all times. Many recruiters hire candidates based at least in part on the professional image the candidates convey on social media.
6. Do embrace multimedia. Add pictures, images or video based content whenever possible.
7. Do become genuinely interested in others. Share their articles, like and comment on their news feeds and support them in their endeavours. The law of reciprocity always works and you could be at the receiving end of the favour sooner or later.
8. Do build your brand intelligently in a way that supports your professional qualifications. Post regular updates on what’s happening in your professional life, the projects you are working on, the places you volunteer, the compliments you receive etc.
9. Do exhibit that you are well-rounded and have a range of interests. Share a variety of interesting content. Use the various features of social media sites, share diverse links, and find out what others have to say about them.
10. Do demonstrate good communications skills. Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes, use spell check and always get someone to check your content online.
1. Don’t post provocative or inappropriate pictures, messages or tweets. Once something goes online, it always remains online in one form or the other, so be careful about what you share.
2. Don’t bad-mouth your ex-boss, previous colleagues or for that matter anyone. This one is a no-brainer but you will be surprised about how many people still get it wrong.
3. Don’t make discriminatory comments of any kind. Controversial, disputable content posted on a prospect’s social media profile can raise red flags.
4. Don’t get caught exaggerating about your qualifications.
5. Don’t be talking only about yourself. Self-centred people are as off putting in the virtual world as they are in the physical world.
6. Don’t turn off people by making extreme statements about where you stand personally on a topic – always be flexible and accommodating to others’ views.
7. Don’t ignore people who take the time to interact with you. Work with whatever feedback you can get, respond to it, and build relationships. At the same time don’t get too familiar – you can be cordially social without providing too much information.
8. Don’t assume everyone is on your level. Be sensitive to the varying perspectives of visitors to your page. Cite your sources and tailor your responses to the individuals you interact with.
9. Don’t be repetitive. Give continuity to your online identity by keeping the stream of communication alive, but don’t annoy your audience with the same tune over and over again.
10. Don’t open an account and ignore it. Set aside 5 minutes two to three times a week to check in and post something. That’s all it takes to be digitally active.
And lastly, stay on a self-correcting and tweaking mode at all times. Do a Web search on yourself to see what pops up — on social media sites and otherwise. You can bet recruiters and hiring managers are doing the same.