If you want to use social media to target employers, your profile should match how you want to be seen in public and your accounts should be tailored to your target audience, like a CV.
STYLE YOUR PROFESSIONAL PROFILE
• Make your social media profiles interesting to potential employers. Give relevant details and, if you want employers to see multiple social network accounts, post hyperlinks, for example enter the address of your LinkedIn account in your Twitter bio.
• If you really want to show off your skills and promote yourself on Facebook or Google+, create a professional fan page. These can be posted exactly like a personal social network profile and can contain all pertinent information about you, saving employers from having to review your personal profile. Try to keep this updated and maintain it like a blog, or you may appear uncommitted.
• Getting referrals or recommendations from former employers on services like LinkedIn can also help interest an employer. It allows them to see a reference straight away and to obtain the contact details of your ex-employer.
• Add a professional and recent picture of yourself to your profile pages. If using multiple social network profiles, keep them the same. This shows you are aware of visual identity and branding, and makes it easier for employers to identify who you are.
ENGAGE WITH ONLINE COMMUNITIES
• Follow companies you are interested in. Show you are interested in the industry. Follow industry news. This highlights that you are in touch with what is going on.
• Comment constructively on campaigns, news or groups from the industry or company you want to work in. This shows you understand what you read and employers will see your research and analytical skills.
• Contact company employees to find out more about the company. You may not always get an answer, but finding out what the company is like from an employee's point of view can help you make up your mind about working for them or that sector.
Even if you do not want employers to see your profile, be prepared to be viewed. According to a
US report, 45 % of employers use social media as part of the screening process for candidates.
By having employers review your profiles, this means that they will be looking at the following.
• Presentation: how do you present yourself? Are you positive? Have you complained about former employers?
• Interpersonal skills: how do you interact and speak with others?
• Checking: does what you put online match your CV?
• Choose your preferred social media platform. If you want to comment on live events or develop real-time conversations, your best option is Twitter. If you want information about a company or are looking for professional discussions, LinkedIn could be better.
• Different social media may be used in different job sectors. If you are creative, highlight some of your work on http://www.reddit.com or even create an infographic CV, If it will involve video or journalism, then create a video CV and add it to YouTube. Make sure your efforts are visible by adding them on a professional profile such as LinkedIn or type the links on your CV,
• You can also use hyperlink shortening services such as http://bitly.com, http://tinyURL.com and http://goo.gl. By tailoring your links, you not only create short memorable links for employers to find, but some services also track when and where your link was clicked. You then know that someone was interested, which you can bring up in an interview with a potential employer.
• Match your social network profile to the industry you want to go into. If it is technical or computer-based, show those skills on your profile through comments on articles. If it is marketing or public relations, show your people skills by interacting through conversations.
At the time of writing, Facebook is the main social network platform used in Europe, with Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ also being popular. However, check what is popular in the country you would like to work in by reviewing market research services such as Comscore or national statistics services. Again, at the time of writing, a number of other platforms are popular in the following European countries:
• Germany: Xing (http://www.xing.com)
• Netherlands: Hyves (http://hyves.nl)
• Poland: Nasza Klasa (http://nk.pl)
• Spain: Tuenti (http://www.tuenti.com)