In today’s job market it’s vital to look at all avenues for getting ahead of the competition. Whilst it can take some time to leverage the benefits of social media, a slow and steady approach whilst you’re studying can allow you to build a strong online presence to ensure that when you come to look for work, you’re already one step ahead!
1. Manage your brand
In the past, your ‘job seeking brand’ started with your CV, and carried on through to your first impression at interview and onwards as you built up your professional reputation.
Nowadays your brand image more frequently starts online and that gives a unique position to cultivate a positive brand proving to an employer why you might be a good bet for the job before they’ve even met you.
It is your online assets that will help your brand to grow, whether that’s an online portfolio of your creative design work, a collection of essays that shows your writing style or even the discussions that you get involved with online. Your assets show to an employer the type of employee that you could be.
2. Get on the radar of employers that you’re interested in
If you’re managing your brand carefully you should be able to get on the radar of employers and recruiters. In my mind there’s no better way to get ahead of the competition than being known. The old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still holds true. If a recruiter or employer already knows of your work via your social media presence or online portfolio, they already have a pre-formed idea of what it might be like to work with you, or the quality of work you may produce if they employ you. As long as your online presence is showing you in the best light, you’ll be off to a great start!
3. Become a thought leader
Your interactions on social media offer you the opportunity to illustrate your knowledge in your particular subject area. Blogging can be a great way to show that you have some original ideas and that you can communicate them with ease. Writing a regular blog gives you original content that you can use to promote your own social media profiles.
If you’re a LinkedIn user (and here’s why you should be) there are groups that you can join linked to your specialism. The members of these groups may be employers, decision makers, recruiters and other job seekers. Get involved in the discussions in these groups and write well-worded thoughtful answers to show that you are well versed in your niche area.
4. Keep up-to date on new opportunities
In this new age of recruiting, employers and recruiters are more frequently posting their opportunities through their social media channels. Some companies even have specific job accounts so make sure that you follow or like them to ensure that you can keep up-to date with all of their new opportunities.
The other added bonus is that if you’re already on their radar and they like you, they may even approach you individually to tell you about a new role that’s coming up. This has happened to me on a number of occasions, especially for freelance work.
5. Keyword-optimise your LinkedIn profile to help recruiters find you!
If you want to help recruiters to find you, keyword-optimising your LinkedIn profile is a must. Recruiters use LinkedIn’s search to find potential candidates and the keywords that you use in your profile are paramount to them finding you.
The best way to find the most common terms that recruiters will be looking for is to look at the job descriptions for the roles that you’re interested in. You could even use Google’s AdWords keyword tool to find out what the most common google searches are that relate to the job title that you’re interested in.