Use your social media presence to your advantage

A recent survey by CareerBuilder.com found many employers use cyber-stalking as a screening tool, 35% of them eliminating applicants based on what they discover online.

For graduate internship and job seekers it is important to recognise the value of social media in the job hunt. Social media has quickly become an essential networking and recruiting tool so it is important to learn how to best brand yourself on the web so that your online presence can be used to your advantage. Having a strong social media presence can make a great first impression!

Firstly, if you aren’t already then get on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

Make sure you have a sensible Facebook profile image and set your account to private as you wouldn’t want a potential employer seeing your drunken university photos.

LinkedIn is your professional online image so if you are serious about furthering your career you must be on LinkedIn. To have a strong LinkedIn profile and give a good impression complete your profile to 100%, write your positioning statement and career goals in your ‘summary’, ask former employers and internship supervisors to make recommendations on your behalf, make connections and join groups relevant to your interests.

Be engaging and active on Twitter. People will follow you if you have a distinct Twitter personality so say hello, re-tweet content along with your take, tweet blogs/articles that interest you and generally be a member of the community. You should follow relevant industry leaders, companies you are interested in working for, and peers in the field. When writing your bio consider it as a selling tool for why people should follow you e.g. interests, degree or profession, goals, and what you tweet about.

Secondly, write a one sentence personal statement which can be used across your social media sites. This is a way to promote yourself so think of your strengths, knowledge and what you could bring to a company.

Thirdly, start a blog! This is a great way to show off your strengths and write about a topic you are passionate about. There are some easy platforms to use e.g. WordPress and Blogspot which can be created in minutes.

And finally, be consistent! Try to use the same personal bios and pictures on all social networking sites. Use the same or similar usernames for each of these sites for people to easily remember, obviously your first and last name is best. This will help create a stronger and more memorable online presence.

So now you know how – get networking!

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