How to Market Yourself on Social Media Sites

preetia-trishaWhat’s the big deal about social media sites? Well if you’re a job seeker it’s a really big deal indeed.

Here are some statistics gleaned from a 2010 survey* made to companies regarding their use of social media sites to recruit job candidates and here are some interesting findings:

  • 92% of those companies currently hiring use, or plan to recruit via social networks
  • Of this group 86% use LinkedIn, 60% use Facebook, and 50% use Twitter for recruiting
  • In addition, 50% of hiring companies plan to invest more in social recruiting while only 17% will spend more on job boards and 36% will spend less on job boards
    For companies using social media sites to recruit employees, it’s a fantastic return on investment! It’s fast and efficient, and the talent is abundant. So what does all this mean for you, the job seeker?

Well if social media sites are where the recruiters are then you need to be there too. But just being there isn’t enough, you also have to market yourself professionally. The flip side of being on social media sites is that 70% of employers have rejected candidates because of information they have found online**. Graduates need to have a solid online presence and knowing how to market yourself is essential for your success!
Follow these tips and you will be ahead of the game:

  • Create a profile that highlights your knowledge and skills but make sure you have no errors or typos - and write with pizzazz! Make sure you sprinkle your profile with industry keywords so that it will be search engine friendly.
    Choose a photo of yourself that demonstrates you are a professional. It should be just you, no friends, family or pets and definitely not a cartoon character! Dress and preen as if you were going to go on an interview and then have your picture taken…that’s the one you want to have posted for recruiters to see.
  • In order to increase your online presence be sure to contribute to discussions and ask questions within the forums of your industry. This can be achieved by using applications like ‘Groups’ on LinkedIn and aligning yourself with individuals in your industry or field of interest. Actively contributing to discussions will build name recognition.
  • To attract recruiters to you, you need to know what your value is and then you need to highlight your value across all of your online profiles. Work out your brand by asking, Who am I? What sets me apart from others? What are my experience and abilities? What are my passions? What’s my vision? Think about what you want to communicate to the world!

Social media sites are great if you know how to use them and how to showcase the most amazing you! With so many companies seeing the value in online recruitment you can’t afford not to be there.
* Jobvite Recruiter Survey 2010
** Microsoft Survey

Trisha Grace is the Alumni Career Services Liaison at George Brown College. The CareerWise program is available to graduates at the college and free for up to one year after graduation.
Contact Trisha at tgrace@georgebrown.ca.