Today, social media is ingrained in our lives – it connects us through the filter of meals we’ve had, declarations of love and our political opinions. People are accustomed to sharing insights into their personal lives and views with complete strangers.
It’s not just your friends and family checking out your latest post; this information is being used by recruiters and potential employers to build a fuller, more detailed and in-depth picture of you. They want to understand the real you.
Your personal information is at recruiters’ fingertips. Smart candidates know this. What’s more, they use their personal brand to their advantage to complement the other information that’s collected through formal channels such as traditional reference checking.
It’s easy to look through a candidate’s resume and match technical skills to a role, but a part of the value recruiters bring is being able to find the right person for a company, and the right company for a person. Our team focuses on the human element of the process, and seeks a deep understanding of our clients and our candidates.
Social media gives a different perspective on a potential employee’s character and, in some respects, probably a truer perspective. So what you put on social media and how you craft your personal brand is vital to your success.
Our consultants look at a candidate’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter profiles. They want to see that your lifestyle, views and opinions are a good fit for the company’s culture.
You may see LinkedIn as for your ‘work persona’, and Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as personal, but the lines are blurring as your profiles become easier to find and match up.
Think about who you are and what you stand for – if your friends and colleagues were asked to describe you, what would you want them to say? Once you’ve worked this out, see whether these descriptions are reflected in your public profiles or think about what changes you could make.
You don’t need to hide your political beliefs, your declarations of love or your affinity for burgers, but it’s a good idea to behave as you would if you were in a face-to-face situation while your boss was in the room.
In all interactions, be respectful. Beyond this, some ways to use social media to build a positive personal brand include:
Show your collegiality by congratulating your peers on their achievements on LinkedIn and Facebook, without hijacking the conversation to talk about your own.
Endorse and recommend deserving contacts on LinkedIn – they may return the favour
You can also ask current and former colleagues if they would be happy to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn and, if you email them a draft of your recommendation for them, they just might return the favour and allow you a first look at any comments they are planning to leave about you.
Join industry or role-relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Contribute to discussions where you can add value – this is an opportunity to build your profile (hello headhunters) as well as show that you’d be a constructive part of a team.
Remember that ‘hobbies and interests’ section of your CV? Recruiters and hirers want a well-rounded person to join their team, so don't pretend you’re all about the job 24/7. Share your football team’s grand final photos, shots from your weekend spin, or pictures of you with your family or friends on Facebook and Instagram. Showcase the best aspects of your life.
Switch your profile pictures – use a professional headshot for LinkedIn (a photo that captures how you’d want to look in interview), and a more relaxed photo of yourself for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Check out the jobs on our website to see where your career could go.