Top 5 Things You Should Do To Beef Up Your Social Media Profiles

Social media. Buzz words?  Yes.  Important for your job search?  An understatement.

Talking turkey for a moment, if you don’t have a profile up on LinkedIn, you’re a dinosaur.  If you’re not on Facebook, maybe not quite so bad, but not great either.

Last year, Jump Start Social Media conducted a survey that found 75% of recruiters use LinkedIn to conduct candidate searches.  48% use Facebook and 26% turn to the Twit-monster.  My guess?  These percentages are much higher now.

That said, I can’t tell you how many times a client comes to me for help with a resume but doesn’t think about their social media branding efforts.  Most have a LinkedIn page but with nothing significant on it.  Many are not involved with Facebook or Twitter.  Having a page on LinkedIn that just lists the places you’ve worked is like joining Match.com and not posting a picture of yourself. Who the hell is going to call you?

About five years ago I started to use LinkedIn as a recruiter.  I was so excited to have found it and quickly began to build a gigantic database of potential candidates.  If I needed a digital media salesperson with CPG experience, I typed this information into LinkedIn’s “search” box and started weeding my way through the results.  I always looked at the section that said “readers of this profile have also looked at the following.”  And, I always looked at potential candidate’s “links” to see who else I could find.  This provided me with an endless amount of data and names.

Knowing how much recruiters and hiring managers use social media to conduct searches, I’ve put together the top 5 things you should think about when creating your social media branding efforts.

#1 – Key Words are Key to Getting Noticed

Your LinkedIn profile has to be chock full of information and “key” words that you think a recruiter or hiring manager will search.  When you think of key words, you want to consider all the different iterations that someone searching might use.  For example, “digital media sales” could also be coined as “online media sales” or “dot-com sales.”  Be sure to specify the industry you are in, the clients you work with, etc.  One time, I had a client who wanted to hire someone who called on Johnson & Johnson.  I did a search on “Johnson & Johnson and sales” and “J&J and sales.”  You see what I’m getting at here?

#2 – Beef up Your Summaries and Specialties

Whereas, in a resume, HR folks don’t really like to see a big summary, you can go deeper in your online summary  — again focusing on those key words that will show up in searches.  In the specialty area, think of every single possible word you can use to describe your areas of expertise.  If you are in marketing, your specialties could say, for example:  “marketing, communications, PR, management, P&Ls, budgeting, retail, in-store, grassroots, interactive, multi-media/cross-functional, digital, mobile, print, television, alternate, out-of-home/place-based…”  Again, there are redundancies that you would never put on a resume, but for an online version, you need to have all these key words in place.

#3 – Link, Link, and then Link Some More

I can’t tell you how important it is to to link to as many people as you can.  I’ve had clients ask me, “well, if I put my profile up and start linking to people, aren’t my co-workers going to know that I’m looking for a new job?”  The answer is “no.”  Everyone is on it. Everyone is doing it.  LinkedIn is also a means for people to connect and find potential business partners.  When people do land new jobs do they take their LinkedIn profiles down just because they are newly settled? No.  They keep them up.

As a recruiter, if I’m doing a search for a marketing manager and I find someone who is a director and too senior, I will peruse her connections to find potential candidates that fit my criteria. If you are a manager and are  connected to that director, I’m going to find you and call you.  That’s why you need to link to as many people as possible, including your co-workers.

#4 – Don’t forget to Put your Contact Information Up

I can’t tell you how many times I see a LinkedIn profile without any contact information.  I’m not suggesting you should put your home address for the world to see, but definitely leave an email so you can make it easier for recruiters to reach out.

#5 – Get on Facebook and Make Friends

Two years ago,  while recruiting, I started to tap into Facebook as a search tool.  If I was “friends” with someone on the agency side, for example,  I would peruse his friends on FB and gather a treasure-trove of potential candidates.  I would then send emails via Facebook’s contact system, introducing myself and telling that potential candidate about a job I was recruiting for.   I’ve had many resume clients tell me that they’ve stayed clear of Facebook.  This is a mistake.  Sign up and “friend” a ton of folks in your industry.  If you are concerned about mixing business with pleasure, then just be careful in what you choose to post.  Drunken party photos are not something I’d suggest.

Carpe diem…

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