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8th February 2017



Enhance your career prospects using social media

Social media is no longer just a ‘social’ tool – it plays an important role in the professional landscape too. If you’re hunting for a new role, LinkedIn can be a great place to look – and be found.

 

Neon lights

Ninety-five percent of recruiters use LinkedIn for their own talent search[1], so as a prospective employee it’s important your social media reflects the impression you want to give.

Enhancing your career prospects through LinkedIn

As recruiters and hiring managers scour LinkedIn to search for candidates, there are a number of ways you can optimise your LinkedIn profile to maximise this opportunity.

At the top of your profile, you have a headline with 120 characters. Use a descriptive title here that captures your skills, such as ‘bi-lingual litigation expert with international experience’, rather than your job title – that should go under the job title section. If you’re actively looking for a role, make this clear with a statement like ‘experienced litigation expert seeking new opportunities’.

When listing your career experience, use effective but succinct descriptions that summarise your skills and offering. Stick to 2-3 lines and include your key accomplishments, focusing on professional experience. If you’re a new graduate, you can draw on your educational achievements and any impressive or relevant extra-curricular activities.

Less is more, so don’t overload your page with granular detail. For each past role, focus on three main achievements and use key words that are relevant to your target profession. This should increase your chance of appearing in recruiters’ searches.

It helps to upload your CV to LinkedIn, as recruiters can search this for more detail. It’s also useful to join relevant industry groups, both to network and look out for opportunities.

And remember that your picture creates an immediate and indelible impression. Make sure you have an appropriate background, are dressed in clothes you’d expect to wear in your future role and adopt a confident, professional stance.

Proactively seek opportunities

LinkedIn has recently introduced a function so you can let recruiters know that you’re open to new opportunities. Through this, you can privately share your career interests with recruiters at other companies for up to 90 days. They can then contact you directly if you are a good fit for a role. While this new feature has only just been unveiled, it could be a useful tool to support your next job move.

Taking a proactive approach to enhancing your career through social media can make all the difference. For example, if you have any writing, presentations or insights that will help you engage with your target audience – publish them! Not only will it help you be noticed, it will also demonstrate your initiative and interest, which are both desirable professional traits.

Network wisely

LinkedIn and Twitter are key networking tools in today’s working environment, but it’s important to use them with discretion.

Build up your contacts on LinkedIn, particularly in industries that interest you, so you’re more likely to spot new opportunities on your news feed. However, be careful about adding individual contacts unless you know them or have worked together, as some people are put off by LinkedIn requests from strangers.

Twitter, however, is a more accommodating platform for creating connections without an introduction. Use it to follow key influencers so you can stay informed of industry developments. A well-considered, relevant tweet can be a good way to get on someone’s radar and establish a connection. As with all social media, if someone contacts you it’s important to reply promptly. Job roles can be filled quickly, so don’t miss out on an opportunity.

Be consistent across your social media platforms

Social media platforms are great tools, but should be treated with caution. It’s no good building a professional LinkedIn profile if your Facebook profile undermines this. Be aware that recruiters may check your online presence across different platforms – so ensure your Facebook profile is private and has a profile picture that wouldn’t deter prospective employers.

Also do the same with Twitter – and be mindful of posting opinions that you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Some employers take their reputation extremely seriously so it’ll count against you if your social media profile would jeopardise this.

Using LinkedIn and other social media wisely can greatly enhance your professional prospects; if you invest time and energy, your online profile could be key to helping you reach the next stage in your career.

To learn more about a career with Thrings, visit our careers page.

[1] http://www.job-hunt.org/social-networking/LinkedIn-job-search/LinkedIn-job-search.shtml

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