When looking for a graduate job, sometimes it’s the extra things that make you stand out the most to a recruiter or potential boss. Using social media to market yourself can put you ahead of the competition, whether it’s number of followers or your sense of humour that makes you shine.
So have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube accounts at the ready. Here are six ways to market yourself on social media while on the job hunt.
1. Bulletproof your social accounts
OK, we’ve talked about this before. We’re only repeating it now because this is the one rule that, if broken, can actually lose you a job. So make your accounts private or put up an appropriate profile photo, delete any tweets you wouldn’t want your mum to read, and put your best face forward.
2. Show your interest
You know that “must have demonstrated interest” requirement included in a lot of job adverts? Social media is the perfect way to do that, especially if you don’t have much previous experience. Follow everyone and anyone in your field that inspires you, or who you’d want to work for. Keep up with industry news, link to related articles and post your thoughts. If you feel uncomfortable swamping your friends’ feeds with your career aspirations, consider creating a separate professional account.
3. Play to your strengths
If you’re a wordsmith in the making, start a blog and keep it up – or master the art of the pithy tweet. If you want to get into the visual arts in any way, start a Youtube channel or an Instagram. Thinking about charity work or politics? Start an online petition or organise a protest for a cause you’re passionate about and rally the troops. Want to work in marketing? Be creative and start your own campaign to get yourself hired, like this girl did. Then cross-promote by posting your Youtube videos on Twitter and your blog posts on Facebook.
What should you share? And how much? The only way to really know is to experiment, but there are a few tried and tested ratios to act as a guideline. The “Rule of Thirds”, for example, suggests you split your shared content evenly between your own work, links to other people’s content and personal posts. The “5-3-2” rule says that for every 10 things you share, five should be content from others, three should be your own work and two can be personal.
Try them out and see what works best for you, but the key here is to mix it up and share different types of content on your social accounts. That way it’s not all such a shameless way to market yourself.
5. Engage with your audience
Whether that’s your friends or important job contacts, get involved and make connections. Tweet at people and answer other people’s tweets to you. Use hashtags. Be friendly and don’t feed the trolls (hopefully you won’t ever have any). You never know when a job opportunity will pop up. Either way, being present will show employers that you take yourself seriously.
6. Be yourself
Letting your personality shine through on social media can be tough for some people, or even intimidating, but it’s the best market tool you’ve got for developing your “personal brand” (blegh, we hate that term, too). As cheesy as this sounds, there’s only one you, and sharing your snarky humour or your exquisite taste in music or your passion for a cause can make all the difference. Potential employers will definitely be looking, and you never know – they might think you’re their kind of person and choose you over another candidate.