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  • 4 Ways Social Media Can Blend Personal Brand and Job Search

    Social Media Job Search photo from ShutterstockIn your job search, having a great personal brand is a wildly understated way to stand out and better your chances of getting hired.

    Social media can be used as a catalyst that bridges the gap between personal brand and job search. According to Jobvite, 94 percent of recruiters use (or plan to use) social networking to screen potential candidates.

    The way you brand yourself on social media vastly influences how future employers perceive you. And with 87 percent of organizations believing work culture is critical to their success, this perception is crucial in standing out and getting hired.

    So to help you, here are four ways social media can be used to boost your personal brand — which, in turn, will help your job search:

    1. Spring Cleaning: Social Media Edition

    Obviously, the way you’re perceived online is a huge factor in both your personal brand and job search. But too often, candidates are not hired because of unruly photos or inappropriate statuses found by employers on their pages. In fact, 69 percent of employers have rejected an applicant based on what they found on their social media pages.

    Cleaning up your social media pages to eradicate inappropriate content is crucial in maintaining a positive personal brand. Those pictures of you going wild at the bar may have seemed fun back in the day, but if an employer checks out your profile and finds them, it could leave them with a detrimental image of you.

    Spur-of-the-moment sharing on social media is more common than ever. But in order to prevent from destroying your job search, you need to be fully aware of what you’re posting and the consequences a piece of content may have. The next time you ponder if a status or photo is appropriate to share, think about your grandma. If you think your grandma could see the content on your page and not be offended, then consider it OK to share.

    2. Make A Separate Career-Focused Account

    Do you want to tell employers how knowledgeable you are about your industry, while still being able to share things with your family and friends that reflect your personality? Many people are achieving this by creating two separate social media accounts — one that’s career-focused, and one strictly for personal use.

    When hiring managers check out your social presence, they want to see you’re passionate about the industry you’re trying to get into. With a career-focused account, you can share relevant articles, interact with industry professionals, and even share some interesting content of your own. By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things.

    First, employers are able to see you’re passionate about their industry and interested in keeping up with the latest news and trends that are happening. Second, if you regularly maintain and build your career-focused account (tips here), you’ll slowly start to build a following.

    The bigger your audience gets, the higher your credibility becomes, and companies you thought would never notice you before suddenly start to become interested. When your dream company checks out your social media pages and sees how influential you are, you’re indirectly standing out far more than your competition, and the chances of getting that interview are much more likely.

    3. Cover Your Bases

    Not even five years ago, Facebook was the dominant social network that everyone was on. But today, they’re no longer the only player in the game. Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc. are now becoming increasingly popular. People still use Facebook to build their personal brand; but these days, if you’re not on all the sites listed above, you’re going to have a tougher time getting the attention you want from employers.

    When a hiring manager wants to find out more information about you, they Google your name. If you’re not present on the big social networks (especially LinkedIn), they’ll think you’re out-of-date and not current with new trends. Each social network has it’s own function, and you can use each one differently to boost your personal brand.

    So when someone from your dream company Googles your name and sees detailed, career-focused, and regularly-maintained social media profiles that give them exactly what they’re looking for in terms of skills, experience, and how you could fit in their culture — it makes it a lot easier for them to decide whether or not you’re qualified enough to move on in the hiring process.

    4. Share Career-Focused Content

    When it comes to personal branding, content is king. Companies everywhere are using content to boost brand loyalty, following, and engagement — so why can’t you do the same thing to enhance your personal brand?

    In your job search, it’s a plus if employers see you sharing relevant, industry-specific content on your social media pages (especially if it’s content they created!). You can even use the content you share as an excuse to build your network.

    When you share an article or blog post from a company you’re interested in, you can take it even further by using it as an excuse to send them a private message. Say how much you enjoyed reading their piece, and ask them about any opportunities they may have at their organization . You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing this.

    It’s an even bigger plus to employers if you not only curate content, but create original content of your own. Writing your own unique blog posts or articles about a certain facet of your industry is a great way to help you stand out to employers, and even get them to come to you! If you share your content on your career-focused social pages, hiring managers checking you out will take notice, and your chances of getting that interview just got a lot better.

    How do you use social media to blend personal branding and job search?

    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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    Posted in Career Resources, Job Search, Personal Branding, Skill Development
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