Figuring out life after college can be a bit overwhelming. Thanks to the advancements in technology and the invasion of social media, we now have the resources to make the job hunt a little less daunting. The same tool we use to tell the world about the concert we went to last night, or maybe what we ate for breakfast this morning, can also be used make powerful connections that could potentially land us our dream careers.
According to a survey released by Jobvite, 92% of employers are using social media in their recruiting efforts. Because of the rising importance of an online presence, we asked none other than career coach Ryan Kahn to give us some insight about leveraging social media to get us hired – not fired. Quickly becoming the most nationally recognized career coach, Kahn is star of MTV’s Hired! and author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad. Over the last decade, Kahn has placed thousands of college students, recent grads, and job seekers on the path to their dream career. Read what Kahn has to say about making the most out of your job search while establishing a personal, yet professional brand.
Set yourself apart
In the huge realm of social media, it is essential to make yourself stand out to potential employers through your online presence. How you decide to use your social media is completely up to you, but you must be aware of what is being posted. “While you do need to decide what crosses the line,” Kahn says, “you are in college, remember that.” Have fun with your social media while making it your own.
Here are Kahn’s suggestions for the three best ways to maintain a positive and unique image on social media:
- GoogleYou. Log out of all of your social media first and then do a Google search of your name. This is exactly what an employer would do. By logging out of your accounts first, you are seeing more of what an employer would see. This is where you can recognize any privacy settings that need adjusting or any content that should be taken down on your various accounts.
- Build your Search Engine Optimization. This is an easy way to control your image on the Internet. In order to make sure your links are being seen when your name is searched on Google, you must strengthen your SEO. To do this, add your link everywhere you can. For example, put the links to your blog and your LinkedIn page on your Twitter. Also be sure to include all of your links in the ‘About Me’ section on Facebook. By linking all of your accounts together, you are building your SEO and those links will appear higher in the Google search of your name.
- Blogging. “This is a great way to show that you’re an expert in a particular field,” says Kahn. Whatever your area of interest is, blogging is a useful outlet to express your knowledge and personality to potential employers.
Strengthen your personal brand
“Branding is essential in your career search,” Kahn said. “It’s about being able to know who you are and communicate that clearly to the world. By branding yourself well, that sets you up in a better position to secure a job.”
Kahn proposes taking these steps to create your personal brand:
- Soul searching. Take some time to figure out what you’re really passionate about. What do you want people knowing, seeing and reading about you?
- Updating your social media toward your brand. Think of yourself as any major brand. Brand yourself with colors, or maybe a favorite quote that says a lot about you. This is where you develop a consistent image of your brand across all of your social media.
- Be active. Prove that you are involved in your area of interest. “If I was an employer looking at your profile and I saw that you had a blog and you had all of the specific branding towards your area of interest, I would feel a lot more confident in hiring you,” says Kahn.
Build your network
“Network is net worth,” Kahn says emphasizing the importance of building more relationships in order to expand your personal network. You never know when you are going to cross people you build relationships with again. “Take all the opportunities to make a friend, and make it a real relationship,” says Kahn.
Kahn suggests taking advantage of these social media platforms in your job hunt:
- LinkedIn. This is your online resume. Start building your LinkedIn profile now if you haven’t already, because this is an invaluable way of connecting to working professionals. When requesting to connect with someone, make sure you personalize the invitation to help you stand out.
- Facebook. Your personal friends are going to be the ones who are going to help you out the most in your job search. Keeping up with your friends and maintaining relationships on Facebook can help you out in the long run. The application called ‘BranchOut’ helps you expand your career network to include your friends on Facebook. This gives you a professional profile within Facebook, which helps you reach out to as much of your network as possible during your job search. Other important ways to use Facebook include: providing links to your websites in the ‘About Me’ section, interacting and engaging with companies, and keeping your content positive and appropriate.
- Twitter. Following and interacting with companies via Twitter can help you discover job openings and opportunities in your area of interest. Your profile must be public in order to engage with companies, so make sure to tweet carefully and use Twitter to your advantage.
- Pinterest. This up and coming social media tool is not as important as other platforms, but is a fun and creative way to express yourself professionally. For example, you could have a Dream Board, where you pin things that you aspire for in your career. You can also create a board for your portfolio. By doing so, you are able to show off your work and have it all in one place.
There’s no denying the power of social media. When it comes to your career search, “you’ve got to shoot for the moon,” Kahn says. Interacting with companies and potential employers is a great way to open the door on social media. At a time when the hiring process is so competitive, networking and personal recommendations are the best ways to get your foot in the door.
How are you using social media to build your personal brand, collegiettes? Share your story with us!
If interested in working with Ryan Kahn in landing your dream career email him at RyanKahnHired@gmail.com.
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