Landing the right job is much more complex than merely finding an ad and applying for an open position. Your chances of attracting an employer and getting the job you want may increase if you prove that you are a “purple squirrel” (an outstanding match to the employer’s requirements for that job) and demonstrate enthusiasm for working at the company. You must also develop a memorable personal brand that clearly distinguishes you from other applicants.
With social media sites, it’s easy to create a strong personal brand that expresses how you stand out from your competition and if you’d fit into your potential employer’s internal culture. Below are some ways to use social media sites to create a positive impression on employers.
- Write a summary section that explains what you do, why you’re good at it, and what common business problems you enjoy solving. Your summary is a great opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and business value to recruiters or hiring managers looking at your LinkedIn profile.
- Add presentations, graphic design projects, blog posts, a portfolio file, or a portfolio website to prove your expertise and to demonstrate your creativity and professionalism.
- Post industry events and related stories using “Share an update” on your LinkedIn homepage, accompanied by insightful comments that explain why those events or stories are significant to you or your industry. This practice reinforces you as a subject matter expert.
- Participate in LinkedIn discussion groups related to your field. Discussion groups are another useful way to show in-depth knowledge and your personal communication style.
- Create a strong Twitter profile with attractive images and a witty or intriguing biographical description.
- Engage a company in conversation on Twitter by sending a tweet to congratulate their people for a significant achievement or to express your appreciation for a helpful article they’ve posted.
- Participate in Twitter chats to talk directly with company leaders and other employees and ask them to connect on LinkedIn later after you’re chatted with them for a while and have shown your expertise. Connecting with other Twitter users is an important first step toward building a relationship with the people of that company.
- Start a professional Facebook page dedicated to your professional areas of strength to showcase your skills and talent.
- Participate in Facebook discussions or comment on other business posts, giving meaningful feedback that contributes to the conversation for each post. This helps raise awareness of your presence to individuals at that business.
- If you like to write, consider starting a blog at sites such as Blogger or WordPress. Use the blog to show your writing skill, expert-level knowledge of your topics, and your personality.
- Choose or create a theme that reflects the personality and topics of your blog, and add plenty of visual content such as photos or videos to attract readers. A visually attractive blog that is pleasant to the eyes and easy to read further reinforces your skill to an employer.
Employers receive hundreds of applications for an open position. By crafting a memorable personal brand as well as a strong cover letter and a resume tailored to the needs of the employer, you’ll gain a powerful competitive edge and improve your chances of being invited to an interview.