We live in a world when social media has become a part, sometimes a BIG part, of our daily lives. Whether it’s your Facebook page or Twitter account, you’re able to share your opinions and the events of your daily life with the world. Its no surprise then, that when an employer is thinking about hiring you, the first thing they do is check your social networks to find out more about you.
According to the Social Recruiting Survey 2014 from Jobvite, over 90% of hiring managers today check a potential employee’s social profiles before making a decision to hire them. With that in mind, we called on Social Media expert Mark Traphagen, to help us understand how we can use social media to our advantage and influence employers to take notice.
Why Is My Social Media Profile So Important?
Available on any social platform today is a field dedicated to introducing yourself to the followers of that network. It can be as brief as the intro on your Twitter account or as extensive as a LinkedIn Summary or a Google Plus About section.
It’s a landing page for you, the first page where they (employers), see a little bit more about you, maybe more than what they see on your resume. – Mark Traphagen
There are two things that make this area of your social profile (on any network) very important:
- The opportunity to tell us who you are – Here you get to share your interests and the things that make you a unique and interesting person to follow or get to know.
- Good SEO – Social profiles for your name rank very easily when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Most of the time, when someone googles your name, your social media profiles will be the first things to pop up about you. By having your social profiles completed and geared towards making a good first impression, you’ll increase your chances of a hiring manager taking an interest.
What Information Do I Put In My Profile?
The most important tip I can give anyone: tell a story of your interest in the industry, what you have done, what you’ve been thinking about. – Mark Traphagen
Before you fill out any social media profile, Mark offers three questions that we need to ask ourselves.
- How do I market myself?
- What does my brand look like?
- What story can I tell that will connect with potential employers and make me stand out?
We all think of LinkedIn as the network to tout your professional skills and objectives. And while LinkedIn is the social network we recommend you use to summarize your skills, expertise, and experiences, the other networks you are a part of can play a more indirect role with regard to showcasing your knowledge and career ambitions.
When you are looking for a job, think of yourself as a brand. You are a marketer, and the product you’re marketing is YOU. Let potential employers know why you’re not just another job seeker. Let them know what your thinking about and how your moving the industry forward. Suddenly your profile will reflect more than just a set of skills, and your passion will come through loud and clear.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
According to Mark, the social media profile section is the ‘worst utilized real estate’ for most social networks. If you are in the market for a new job, you need to pay close attention to this opportunity and avoid these common mistakes:
- Dark Spots – A dark spot is when you leave important portions of your profile blank. Don’t neglect the basic information sections of a profile. This is an opportunity to list contact information and your job experience, as well as credible sources where your work can be found.
- Listing Skills – Listing skills is important but a simple list can appear cold and indifferent. Along with your skills list, share examples when these skills were put to the test and produced positive results. While LinkedIn may be the most obvious network to list your skills on, Google+ is good for this too as well as areas of your Facebook profile.
- Using Too Many Buzzwords – Buzzwords are always subjective. Using too many in your profile, such as; people-person, highly motivated, self productive, etc., will cause an employers eyes to glaze over in an instant. Nothing about buzzwords makes you unique. Instead, share an example when your motivation and productivity benefited the company you were working for. Is that event documented somewhere? If so, that becomes an objective source of your skills in practice.
View your profile as an opportunity to tell a story about yourself. Let us know what drives your passion for the craft beverage industry. Tell us about an event or series of events leading to your decision to make this industry a career. Telling a compelling story allows the employer to visualize you working for them. Listing your skills is important but along with your skills, let the reader know what you’ve been thinking about with regards to the craft beverage market.
What Should I Post On LinkedIn?
So you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, what’s next? If an interested employer gets past your profile, the next thing they want to see is what you post on your social network. The top 3 things an employer looks for when viewing a candidates social media profile is;
- Professional Experience
- Length of Their Professional Tenure
- Industry Related Posts
In our interview with Mark Traphagen, he states that the goal of your social media content is to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry. He offers the following tips when posting content:
Create your own content – Its always best when you can produce original content to post. You can start your own website and blog – or you can use the LinkedIn platform to post from. The goal is to share your thoughts about relevant topics in the industry. Mark states that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect, just show that you have original thoughts about the industry.
Curate industry news – Spend time each week reading about your industry, then share that content on LinkedIn and on other relevant social platforms. When you share an article that interests you, add your own original commentary of why its of interest. Not only are you supporting the industry by sharing, but you’re letting readers know that you have a valuable and original opinion about it.
Follow industry leaders – Mark suggests following industry leaders and those companies where you want to be employed. Find out what they are talking about and engage directly with them. This goes beyond LinkedIn and is great for platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook. He goes on to state that one of the most noticeable things you can do is ask questions. Asking questions puts you on their radar!
What Should I NOT Post On Social Media?
We have all read the horror stories of a tweet or Facebook post that has cost someone their job. Although rare, it does happen. Job recruiters and employers take notice of negative content posted on a candidates social media networks.
55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile with 61% of those reconsideration’s being negative. – Social Recruiting Survey 2014, www.Jobvite.com
The top 4 areas that recruiters and employers view as negative content are:
- Posts with profanity
- Posts with spelling and grammar mistakes
- Posts highlighting illegal drug use
- Posts of sexual behavior
This is especially true in the beverage industry where there is already a stigma surrounding behavior and intoxication. If you work for a brewery, winery, or craft spirits producer, your employer will expect your social behavior to be representative and reflective of the culture they try to promote. Think twice before approving your friend’s tag of you on Facebook doing a keg stand or posting that drunken rant on Twitter.
But what about Social Causes? Politics? Religion? Mark offers the following advice when considering posting content in these areas;
I’m a real person and a passionate person about certain causes. The temptation is to never post [about] those things … or post then to private forums. If you do that, you’re missing something, and that is sharing that you have passions outside of your job, that you care about things … It takes a lot of discernment … but do it positively and keep it constructive. It shows I’m a well-rounded, thinking, and passionate person. Ultimately, I don’t think that’s going to be scored against you. – Mark Traphagen
Employers are looking at hundred’s of applications and resume’s with every job opening that they list. Understanding the value of your social media profiles and using them to brand yourself as a desirable asset will give you the ultimate advantage over the competition.
Special Thanks To Mark Traphagen
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