Many employers will take to your online accounts when undergoing their screening process, so it's important to pack a punch when it comes to advertising your skills, interests and personality. It may prove the difference between you getting the job or, once again, missing out.
Our six-point guide provides the best ways for you to stand out to a prospective employer, while giving you the edge when it comes to utilising your forward-thinking online identity.
1. Follow agencies and individual agency staffIt's a common principle when you're online – it's always better to get to know the person behind the mask, than to talk to the mask itself. That's no different when you're searching for a job, as agency staff could hold the key to you applying for a position that you're after.
Getting to know such employees can help you improve your chances of finding your ideal job, as your interests and desires will shine through to them (especially when you've had the chance to get to know them, and shown an interest in their views). It may prove to be a lengthy process in this job market - however, the benefits are unprecedented.
A lot can be said for good relationships in the workplace. The same stands online, too.
2. Target individual company staffIf you've found an ideal job, and you've applied, there's nothing wrong with seeking out company staff and giving them a follow. The closer to the decision-making process, the better. For example, if you've just applied for a job at a marketing firm – a high-brow one, at that – why not give HR personnel a follow? Why not the manager?
Building contacts is important in any industry and can be just as important on this instance of application as the next. Just because you may have been unsuccessful this time, doesn't mean that they won't monitor the quality of posts that you're putting up and keep you in mind for future job opportunities.
3. Let employers see your best attributesUsing portfolio-building sites such as Pinterest and LinkedIn is a brilliant way to show an employer what you're about and what you have achieved so far in your career. Pinterest boards are an excellent tool to showcasing your skills, and affording any employer a glimpse into what you've managed before. Almost like a try-before-you-buy look at your abilities.
But LinkedIn, with its ability to search and apply for jobs, is another good tool as it allows you to add content to each of your previous and current jobs, while allowing you plenty of space to detail each role as you see fit.
You can also use your Twitter profile to post pictures, videos and ear-mark memorable tweets. The more that you can stack in your favour, the more employable you will look and the chance of winning that contract will be further improved.
In addition, don't be afraid to list your skills and show your best attributes. Failing to 'talk up' your abilities online can hinder your chances at being noticed by an employer. Remember, you'd talk yourself up in an interview situation or in your CV, so consider your online profile to be an extension of your CV – a digital platform to sell your skills and to prove why you're the right person for the job.
4. Let your personality shine through.When you go for a job interview, employers are not just looking at what skills you can bring to the role, but also assess how your personality will place you in their working environment. So why not give them a heads-up into who you are, what you like and what makes you tick by showing it online?
Your online identities are your chance to sell yourself, not just in a professional way, but also as a chance for you to tell an employer that you'll fit in well with other team members on their staff, and that you're a bright, bubbly and interesting person. Of course, users will respond to engaging posts, but there's no reason that these posts can't resemble your own personal interests.
Employers will take kindly on someone who they feel that they can operate alongside both professionally and personally, so like the rest of this article, it's a case of 'all things in moderation' and giving yourself the best chance to sell who you are and what you can do.
5. Show that you're great at working towards a common goalEmployers will always love a worker that can come into their business, adapt well and take on new tasks. Have you contributed a major influence in a team project? Have your project management skills stood out in an industry similar to the job that you're looking to apply to? Well, read on, as social media can be a good platform to highlight this.
Having an opinion in the workplace can be a productive tool, especially if you're adept when it comes to finding holes in a process, or if you've thought of a good way which you can bring in more revenue, which will in turn help to make you more popular with the management.
But showing that your ability to get to grips with a new task, quickly and efficiently, can often be a greater attribute to promote, and software such as LinkedIn and Pinterest are perfect for this. Using LinkedIn's tool of customising each previous (or current) job and labelling what you have done is a good way to extend your abilities to a wider reach – but don't sell yourself short. If you were pivotal in getting a project completed on time, or if you've had a brainwave which has streamlined a business – state it.
6. Talk around the topicIs there a latest trend in that job's industry, or an idea that has been brought into the marketplace? Well, now is your time to really show what you're made of and show that you know what you're talking about. This is a great tool for placing yourself in the shop window as, rather than have to prove your knowledge in an interview, you can do so online for multiple employers to see.
There's nothing wrong with openly discussing a topic and asking for other people's views either, as that could lead to an opinion from a manager who could later, after your application and an interview, offer you the job.
Do you agree? Or do you think that there are other ways that social media can be used in the employment market? Let us know in the comments.