Energize Your Career With Social Media
While sharing your life online—showing off your cute family photo, your new recipe, or your latest shopping bargain—has, no doubt, become a habit, did you know that you can also use social media to boost your career? These days, Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for random musings anymore. If you’re looking for a job or aiming to move up in your company, you can easily up your personal and professional value by tailoring your profiles (especially LinkedIn) to attract potential employers or impress your current boss.
Sanofi-Aventis’ Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development Len Villa, lists the ways you can make this happen:
Do a “vanity check” on Google. Have you always been curious about what comes up when someone searches your name, but have been too shy to find out? Well, now is a pretty good reason to take a look at it. Though your personal accounts are, well, personal, it’s best to keep your social media free of anything too intimate. If you’re a company looking to hire a professional, you wouldn’t want to see a future employee oversharing on Twitter every five minutes, now, would you?
Share your content with the right audience. Once you’ve seen your Google results, assess them with detachment. Are you showing off the best version of yourself to the World (Wide Web)? This isn’t to say you need to curate feeds devoid of character. According to Villa, they “don’t look at content” in an applicant’s personal accounts. However, the goal is to present yourself well— both as an individual and a professional—especially on public accounts. Don’t forget to use each platform’s privacy settings to your advantage!
Streamline your account. If you signed up to a social networking site, but haven’t checked in in six months, shut it down. Stick to platforms you can religiously update. While companies in the Philippines still tend to do traditional background checks on character and behavior a.k.a. calling your references, it’s better to keep your name from popping up on Google unnecessarily.
Keep up with trends online. “We look at a candidate’s level of awareness as far as social media is concerned,” Villa says. “We talk about it in the context of how dynamic the person can be, which is important for positions in fields like marketing.” As industries continue to evolve because of the Internet, it wouldn’t hurt to know your way around the different platforms.
Build your brand on social media. As Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all very “human” experiences online, this is a great way to show others your interests. Whether it be arts and crafts, animals and pets, food and drink, or health and fitness, you can tailor your content to help give employers an idea as to what kind of person you are in real life.
Shift your focus to LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a job, this is the one platform you need to be on. It’s one of the handiest ways to promote your professional achievements. “LinkedIn has become more and more powerful in the last few years,” Villa shares. “With it, our applicants have increased three-fold, accounting for 40% of our hires.” Keep your profile up to date with the latest developments in your career and your industry to attract people to get to know you more. You can be “very expressive, ask questions, and talk about what you can do,” Villa adds.
Follow people in your industry. You can easily learn from what they do and how they do it well, simply by taking note of what they share on social media. Establishing connections with them opens up the opportunity for you to directly contact them as well—compliment them on their work, get their insights on your specific field, or ask questions!
Len Villa gives you helpful tips on making your LinkedIn profile attractive to employers
PRESENT A COMPREHENSIVE CV. “Write [pertinent details of] positions you’ve filled in the past, not just the position title,” Villa says. “What are your accomplishments? What are key projects you spearheaded?” Expound as much as possible.
USE THE PLATFORM TO SELL YOURSELF. Just like an interview, LinkedIn is an opportunity for you to present yourself to employers. “Make sure that other users will get interested to at least talk to you,” Villa advises. Thus, your profile should be a complete overview of your competence and experience.
SHARE ARTICLES ON YOUR PROFILE. When you read an interesting report about your industry, share it on LinkedIn. You can even write one yourself! “This can help companies gauge [your character] more,” Villa says.
Len Villa has been in the Human Resources practice for 20 years. She has been a member of the management committee as Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development (HROD) at multinational company Sanofi-Aventis for 10 years now. She is responsible for managing all areas of the HROD department in the Philippines, encompassing three entities: Sanofi- Aventis, Sanofi Pasteur, and Merial Philippines
This article first appeared in Working Mom June 2016 issue