Business is buzzing in Kelowna, British Columbia.
That’s according to the latest results from the Communities in Boom survey, conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Kelowna ranks as 8th most entrepreneurial city in Canada with a population exceeding 150,000, up from 15th in 2012.
For employment in Kelowna, this is fantastic news. Opportunities will expand as more and more new businesses move in and open their doors.
But with opportunity comes competition. To set yourself apart from other candidates, it helps to have an edge that makes your application more attractive to Kelowna employers.
That edge just might be your social media presence.
As we mentioned on the Aspire blog last week, employers and recruiters – up to 90% in some industries – are checking candidates’ online profiles to refine their search, and in some cases, confirm a decision to pursue or reject the application.
With that in mind, there are many ways for job seekers to build a positive social media presence and impress recruiters and employers in Kelowna and elsewhere.
Here are 5 powerful tips to get started:
1. Don’t block or lock. Adjust.
There’s no getting around it: these days, employers may check your social media profiles during the hiring process.
While job seeking, you might be compelled to make your profiles private, so every photo, comment and “Like” is completely concealed to those outside your accepted circles. Don’t.
Our social media profiles often represent an extension of our online identity. If you are unprepared to share these facets of yourself with a potential employer, then it could be assumed that you have something to hide. And that’s not attractive.
Facebook offers flexible security settings that make it easy to manage what gets posted to your public Timeline. Use these to maintain a profile you feel comfortable sharing publicly.
If you think your Twitter timeline needs a conversation makeover, amp up your activity to push crude or questionable tweets down the line. Resist the urge to create separate personal and professional accounts – you’re liable to spread yourself too thin.
2. Save venting for a phone call.
General rule of thumb here: just because Facebook asks you “What’s on your mind?” doesn’t mean you need to tell all 1,345 of your followers exactly the colourful range of emotions you possess whilst sitting in gridlock traffic at the end of a stressful day.
“Over-sharing” online often contributes to those “red flags” employers are on the look out for, such as crude and cruel language, questionable images and negative comments about other people and companies.
So instead of posting a tirade of rage-filled tweets against the brunch wait list you’re battling, just call a friend and pour your frustrated heart out. Venting is basically verbal vomit; the clean-up effort online is much, much messier than in-person!
3. Give LinkedIn lots of love.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Google+, which are great platforms for expressing your creativity and personality, LinkedIn functions as an electronic resume.
This is where you can connect with potential employers, contribute to online discussions related to your work and even scope out career opportunities!
That’s why your LinkedIn page deserves lots of love. First, download Kelowna-based LinkedIn expert Melonie Dodaro’s checklist for creating a compelling and optimized LinkedIn profile. Her guide has the tips you need to quickly and effectively present yourself on this platform.
Once you’ve established a presence, scope out LinkedIn Groups related to your industry. When you join or start a Group, you can contribute to discussions and answer questions to show your expertise and build a network of like-minded people. This is a great way to get noticed by potential employers and establish an authoritative voice in your field.
4. Share your passion.
Social media thrives on the exchange of content, so go ahead and share that intriguing article you found on a industry-related website. Show off your expertise, your opinions, and your side projects. This helps indicate that your passion for your field goes beyond the nine-to-five.
TIP: Don’t be shy – reach out to industry influencers on Twitter, follow and “Like” the accounts of target companies, and get involved with the conversations happening on these platforms!
5. Refresh and revise.
Keep the content on your social media profiles current, so potential employers see the most up-to-date information about your professional experiences, education and other work-related projects.
The easier it is for recruiters and employers to learn more about you, the easier it will be for them to envision you as a top talent employee. So if you were looking for an excuse to go check your Facebook profile…
Have a tip for building an impressive social media presence? Share it with us in the comment section below!