Let’s be honest, nearly everyone would be flattered to be approached out of the blue to discuss a new opportunity, yet sadly many people miss out for one simple reason- their social media presence is weak, or even worse offensive.
To maximise your chances of being noticed for the right reasons ensure that you don’t do any of the following:
Inappropriate or negative postings
Regardless if you are looking for a new role at the moment, what you do on social media (and especially LinkedIn) now or in the past, can affect the chances of you being approached in the future. To minimise the risk of recruiters discounting you – ensure that you:
1) NEVER disparage a particular recruiter, or any recruiters in general (In other words do not be a pen warrior)
2) NEVER jump on the bandwagon of other people criticising recruiters and their industry. Put yourself in their shoes, would you work with someone who was slandering and belittling what you do?
3) DON’T post anything, sexist, racist, anti-(any) religion etc. Basically don’t post or comment on anything that is a faux pas. Just because you are behind a computer or phone screen, this does not exclude you from being viewed as intolerant or socially undesirable.
4) FINALLY… Don’t post anything that is irrelevant for a professional social media platform. Asking people to name a new dog, figure out a hard maths problem, posting your political beliefs, or sharing a non-professional meme you found of Facebook can make recruiters think you are not serious about your profession. They may even think that you spend your time trolling through Facebook and Twitter instead of doing your work.
Being positive on LinkedIn is only half the battle- you need to be able to be found and have a constant presence by interacting with peers and recruiters. Ensure that your positive brand is out there by:
Perfecting your LinkedIn Profile
a) SUMMARY is one of the most important parts of your profile, yet many people omit it. Remember this is a chance to either sell yourself, or your company and what you do for them. Written properly this will engage people to read on.
b) HEADLINE needs to have your job title and the right keywords that recruiters can search for. Imagine recruiters going through hundreds of profiles, if they did not search by keywords they would be doing this all day everyday.
c) LAYOUT needs to be easy to read and straight forward, don’t leave things you are proud of until the bottom. If you have an amazing award you want to showcase as your talent for your field, then move it up closer to the top.
d) EXPERIENCE make sure you add what is relevant, with keywords that recruiters can find. Again recruiters will scan for keywords, don’t get overlooked because you did not spell out on LinkedIn what you have done. Add pictures, articles, projects and achievements in your page.
e) PHOTO should be displayed of you. Don’t add one of you in your wedding dress, with your kids or even of your pet rabbit (yes there is one floating around). Make it a professional / smart looking photo and not one of you at the beach holding a beer (another I saw yesterday)
Connecting with recruiters
If they don’t know about you they can’t approach you, so make sure you connect and follow key recruiters you want to work with in the future.
a) SEND THEM A MESSAGE if you are interested in being approached, to let them know what you might be looking for in the future. This shows you are proactive and welcome them to contact you in the future, not just trying to add empty connections.
b) LIKE AND SHARE the recruiters posts with your network – flattery can get you far, plus keeps you in front of them.
c) ENDORSE recruiters you have met, again this can show the recruiter you are keen to work with them in the future.
Joining groups and participate in discussions
Find groups on LinkedIn that are relevant and interesting to your field. Joining such groups and participating in discussions showcases your ambition and understanding of your industry. A lot of industry recruiters are also in these groups, and are keen to speak to passionate and informed individuals when roles arise.
Posting your own research and interesting articles
This helps keep your name in front of recruiters while showcasing who you are and what interests you about your industry. Recruiters love people who are passionate about their chosen career, and can demonstrate their knowledge.
By keeping in mind that your digital voice is also part of your personal brand, you can create a great professional image that will benefit you for years to come. Remembering to “check yourself before you wreck yourself”, you will ensure that you don’t unnecessarily disqualify yourself from future opportunities and your future self will thank you.