Usually when we talk about social media in relation to recruitment, it comes in the form of a warning: make sure you switch your Facebook to private so they don’t see THAT album. But few people realise the extent to which their online presence can be leveraged to their advantage.

Regardless of how many applications they get in, recruiters will still use other methods to try and source the best candidate for a job. With so much of our daily lives now online, it is easier than ever for recruiters to find who they’re looking for.  So if you want to be found, you need to know how to make yourself a visible and appealing candidate.

Keywords

The very first thing you need to figure out is what keywords you need to use. Keywords are words that are intrinsically linked to a certain subject, so you’ll want to look for job titles, skills, and similar terms related to your line of work. This will vary drastically from sector to sector, job to job, so you’ll have to identify which keywords suit you. A great place to start is Google Trends, which compares how often terms are searched. Once you’ve figured out which keywords you should be using, you can start optimising your profiles for discovery.

LinkedIn

We’ve discussed how to perfect your LinkedIn profile time again, but if you’re hoping to be discovered, there are a few extra steps you can take. The first is to start putting those keywords everywhere you can: in your headline, summary, skills, work history, and anywhere else that it fits naturally. This will make it far more likely that you will be discovered by recruiters searching for these skills.

With that in mind, you should avoid listing everything you’ve ever done as a skill. You may be proud of that time you baked a loaf of bread, but if you’re a Data Analyst, “Breadmaking” won’t benefit your profile. Only include the skills that are actually relevant to your sector. Your page will be less cluttered, and you’ll get far more endorsements for the skills that actually matter.

You should also become involved in the LinkedIn community. Join groups relevant to your sector, and check them regularly. Comment, like, and share content that other people post,  or publish a post using LinkedIn’s own blogging platform. This allows people to engage with you, and helps you highlight your industry insight. This in turn helps you grow your network, which makes you rank much higher in search results.

Twitter

Although LinkedIn is “the professional network”, your other social media profiles could help you be discovered as well. On Twitter, you should make sure that your location is set correctly, and that you include your job title or keywords in your bio. You should use the link field to drive people towards your LinkedIn profile or your own website if you have one.

Once your Twitter is nice and optimised, it’s time to start tweeting. You should use Twitter as a platform to push your brand out there. Tweet your LinkedIn blogs, get involved with other users by replying, retweeting, using hashtags, and every way you can. Make it abundantly clear which sector you’re involved in, and that you’re an active participant in the community. When recruiters see that other industry experts are engaging with you, it’s a great character reference for you.

Facebook

Although Facebook isn’t used to find talent as much as the likes of LinkedIn, it’s one of the first places people will head when they want to learn about you as a person. The first thing to do is make sure your privacy settings are adequately set. Take careful note of the fact that cover and profile photos are public by default.

You might not necessarily want people to be able to view all parts of your profile, but you can optimise certain parts and leave them public. The reality is that recruiters or potential employers are quite likely to look at your Facebook profile. You should use this as an opportunity to reiterate your work history, education, spoken languages, and so on. If everything on your there is hidden, it will look like you have something to hide.

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