Social Media 101
Social media is a big deal. Many of us can’t live without it – we post pictures of our brunch, we Snapchat countless selfies, we tweet our views of JP and Binky’s lovechild – we have created a complete online persona. So how can that online persona get you a job? And how could it cost you one?
Create an online persona
First things first – make an online persona. When this comes to the job market the first thing is to create a LinkedIn account.
Once you have created a LinkedIn account then you need to make that profile attractive to potential employers and head hunters. We are talking about making your profile pop. Add in pictures, upload presentations and put a link to your blog. Join alumni groups, have discussions in interest groups and add all your friends.
Once your LinkedIn is up, look at how to express the rest of your personality.
If you are interested in politics and current affairs, make a Twitter account which provides short and sweet takes on the latest headlines. Think outside the box and discuss some of the issues that don’t make headlines news too.
If you want to be known as a journalist, then create a blog and start sharing interesting articles and literature on the rest of your social media platforms.
If you see yourself as a marketer then make sure you showcase this on any Googleable platforms. For example, make sure your Instagram is showcasing the best of your talents, not just an over filtered selfie you put up after too many glasses of your Uncle’s sloe gin on Christmas Day.
Make it a persona to be proud of
Now you’ve made a profile and think it’s beautiful – your LinkedIn is glistening, your Twitter makes you sound like an intellectual genius and your Instagram is showcasing the best picture of #brunch you have ever known – the last thing you want is this impression being shattered by some skeletons in a closet.
I am talking ‘Zante 2010’ level here. We all have skeletons and recruiters are willing to overlook some of them, but make sure you at least make some effort to keep them hidden before the first staff night out.
Two simple words, yet too many of us do not take advantage. Make sure everything is set to friends only and use the ‘view as’ tool on your profile to check what can and can’t be seen. If you have a boss as a Facebook friend, make sure you add them to your restricted list so there are no nasty surprises (also good for your Grandma when posting the latest lads night post).
Be on the lookout for embarrassing comments from your friends which have been made on profile and cover photos – what could be an inside joke to you could be off-putting to a future boss.
Finally, if you are really worried, change your name on Facebook. While this won’t make you disappear from the recruiter completely, it might make their quest a little harder.
Beyond Facebook: keep your Instagram private if it has any posts you wouldn’t want to discuss in your interview, remove any tweets from Twitter which might give an unwelcome impression – an unhealthy addiction to Love Island for instance – and check out any incriminating videos you’ve liked on Youtube.
The best thing about social media is that it is social. So use that to your advantage and make it get you a job.
LinkedIn is full of groups based on schools and interests. Join your alumni group and you might find that the ‘old boys club’ isn’t as extinct as people say. Start discussions in interest groups and you might be recognised when you end up going for a job in that field. Then make sure you add these new contacts onto your LinkedIn connections as soon as you meet them, whether online or at a recruitment event.
LinkedIn isn’t the only home of groups. Facebook also has a host of job listings and general career advice hidden amongst the pages. So search for the career you want and get browsing – you could be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
This can all be summed up with two simple reminders: make your online persona as awesome as you are in reality and don’t have anything public which you wouldn’t want to discuss in an interview.
So go publicise the employable graduate that you are and grab yourself a job!
P.S. Why not start with one of our video CVs.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.