In comes social media: the ultimate look inside who you are, what you believe in, and what makes you you.
Here’s a pro secret: before your potential recruiter, boss or CEO even downloads your résumé or scans your cover letter, they will search your name. Your LinkedIn profile will pop up, maybe your Twitter, perhaps your Instagram profile will appear right in front of their eyes.
Are you proud of what’s there? Are you putting your best foot forward to a potential employer?
The key to nailing social media and secondarily, manifesting your ideal career opportunities, is to be proactive and infuse your expertise, value, personality, and humanity into your online presence.
Here’s how to optimize your social media presence for your job search.
Why You Need to Proactively Position Your Social Media Presence
I always say, “If what you’re posting isn’t okay for your future boss to see, then you probably shouldn’t be posting it at all.” Social media is no longer just “social media;” social media is the internet. What you put out into the world, stays in the world.
Now, this isn’t to convince you to create a two-dimensional, ultra-professional-looking social media presence, because that’s what your résumé is for, right?
As an employer, I am not looking to hire human doings. I am looking to hire real human beings. I want to envision the type of person I am working alongside.
Of course, they have to be able to do their job and have the right talent, but they also need to add value to the company and fit in with our culture. The way I, and any other employer, can truly find that fit is by viewing your holistic online presence.
Use social media as a way to tell your whole story. It is the 360-degree package of who you are that brings that extra level of authenticity and humanity to your application. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Clubhouse, TikTok, or Instagram, there are so many opportunities to share yourself and talk about your know-how.
4 Steps to Nailing Your Social Media Profiles
Optimizing your profile is a secret sauce when it comes to enhancing your social media presence.
Step One: Profile photos and a memorable bio are a must.
Since social media is all about making connections, your profile photo should reflect who you are, and so should your bio. Choose a high-quality photo that can be used across all social channels to increase your searchability. Beef up your bio with relevant successes and links to any of your ongoing projects or events.
Step Two: Update your website link to something relevant.
Think: a personal website, the link to your Medium account, maybe you’re an actor with a reel compilation on Vimeo, drop the link in your bio!
Step Three: Be accessible to potential recruiters.
Include links to your other social accounts, email, and website to keep the conversation flowing. In other words, make it easy to connect outside of social.
Step Four: Remember, what you share on social media is a direct reflection of who you are.
Create content, be an active participant in engaging and sharing other people’s content and you will stand out regardless of if you’re looking for a job.
You have the tools, now get optimizing.
But, What About My Actual Cover Letter?
Circling back to your actual cover letter, this should be the vessel to share your experience and your talent. But why stop there?
Infuse your cover letter with calls to action to check out your work and other accomplishments. Whether it’s your blog series, your podcast, your website, or even your SoundCloud, you can direct people to these mediums to help paint a fuller picture of who you are.
At the end of the day, you are a three-dimensional, living, breathing being and it’s your job to translate this to your one-page cover letter—and beyond.
About the Author: Jessica Zweig is the CEO of SimplyBe. Agency, a premier personal branding firm based in Chicago and serving clients across the globe. Named a “Personal Branding Expert” by Forbes, a “Top Digital Marketer to Watch” by INC, and honored with the Gold and Silver Stevie® Award for “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2018 and 2019, Jessica facilitates sold-out workshops and speaks on the power of personal branding to corporations including Google, Salesforce, Virgin, Nike, Motorola, Red Bull, and Bank of America. She also hosts the top-ranked marketing podcast The SimplyBe Podcast. Jessica’s debut book, “Be: A No Bullsh*t Guide to Increasing Your Self Worth and Net Worth by Simply Being Yourself,” launched in February 2021 with Sounds True, an imprint of Macmillan.