Making Money Monday: Social Networking and Job Applications

There’s a reason I blog under a pseudonym. Because I don’t want what I say here in this blog-space to be restricted by my ‘real life’. Y’see the days of recruiters only checking your CV are over – there’s a whole heap of information available on that there interweb – and when you’re applying for a job recruiters are going to be looking at it.

Type your name into Google and see what comes up? Likely it’s a mixture of LinkedIn pages, Facebook, Twitter and perhaps some other websites which you’ve been involved with. I get all of the above, plus random mentions from press releases which I’ve worked on in previous jobs.

Now think about all of those pages. What are your privacy settings? Can recruiters see what you’ve been posting? If so, what picture does that paint of you? If it’s a vino-swilling, party gal who whinges about her current workplace and uses Facebook to boast of ‘duvet days’ you could really be harming your chances of securing a new opportunity.

One option is to set your privacy settings high, so that only your friends and people who you allow to view your social media can see just how may tequila’s you put away last Saturday. But there is another option where you can make social media work for you. Watch and learn…

This generally comes up pretty high in search rankings, so:

  • Make sure your profile is complete
  • Add a nice, professional looking picture
  • Link to colleagues, people you’ve done business with and people you would like to do business with
  • Only link to your Twitter feed if what you tweet is appropriate in a professional environment
  • Only advertise that you’re looking for a new job if your current boss already knows!
  • Join groups appropriate for your industry and participate in debates. Show that you’re an active professional in your field.
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in the footer of the emails which you send to recruitment agencies, or potential future employers

If future employers are going to see your profile, keep it clean! Yes, you can get away with displaying a bit more ‘personality’ on this social site as it’s more about connecting with friends, but take a look at your profile and think about it from a future employers perspective. Would you hire you based on your profile? If the answer is no, either change your privacy settings, or remove any inappropriate material. Always remember to check that your privacy settings haven’t been over-written by any Facebook updates, there’s a big one coming soon, and we wouldn’t like those photos of you from the Christmas party to be seen by the wrong people now would we..?

I once heard Facebook and Twitter described as:

Facebook is a way of communicating with the people you went to school with. Twitter is a way of connecting with the people who you wish you went to school with.

How true.

Again, if your aim for Twitter is to use it for nothing more than moaning about your working day from hell to your followers, then perhaps put a privacy block in place. However, this would be a shame as there are networking opportunities to be had…

  • Follow people who are influential within your sector (whether that be celebrities, public figures, or trade organisations)
  • Join in the debate. Don’t be shy. Reply to people’s tweets. Offer them support. Put your own thoughts out there.
  • Link to research or interesting blog or news articles within your sector. Make yourself look like someone who really cares about their work and who is interested in more than just the nine-to-five.
  • Inject some personality. If it’s all work, work, work there is a chance it’s going to make you look a tad dull. Companies want personalities; not pen-pushers – so if you get an amusing viral, or think of something witty to say – go for it – just make sure it’s appropriate for your potential audience (if your profile is public, that’s the whole of Twitter, not just your followers!)

Your own website/blog
Aside, from this lovely blog which you’re reading, I have another blog which I have set up for professional purposes. This isn’t a necessity, but it is quite a good thing to do. Call it something obvious – i.e. your name – and it should come up pretty high in a Google search, allowing you your own forum to showcase, well, just how bloomin’ wonderful you are. Maybe it’s because I work in marketing, but for me it’s a no-brainer. Content could include:

  • Your CV, or a link to your LinkedIn profile
  • An update of what you’ve been up to – e.g. ‘did a charity parachute jump last weekend…’ (but only if that’s true)
  • A good picture of yourself
  • Some info on who you are – try to get your personality across too
  • Details of your achievements (so as a writer, I have a list of publications where my work has appeared)

Of course, social media stalking research, works both ways, so remember to use it to research companies which invite you for interview too. Check out whether they have a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed and if they do mention this when they ask you what you know about the company. Also, if you know the person who will be interviewing you check out their LinkedIn profile to get the inside track.

If one of your New Years Resolutions is to get a new job, then using this quiet time between Christmas and New Year might be the perfect opportunity to get that CV sparkling and clean up your social media. Do you have any other tips?


One response to “Making Money Monday: Social Networking and Job Applications

  1. Pingback: Some tips to help with those new year resolutions | BABE ON A BUDGET

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