Is this you? You trip up and your first instinct is to tweet your misfortune. You spot a Christmas tree in October and you’ve uploaded to Instagram before you can say bah humbug. You’ve got 2,000 Facebook friends and more likes than a meme of the world’s cutest kitten sitting next to a cupcake on Brad Pitt’s lap.
If this sounds familiar, your friends probably tell you your social media addiction is pointless and even damaging. In fact, however, you can tell them with confidence that you’re busy putting in the spadework for a brilliant digital job search campaign.
You can still create a retro CV in Word if you want, but if your aim is to stand out from the crowd, you’d be better off using that digital prowess to show employers that a busy online presence can be about much more than posting pictures of your dinner on Facebook.
Here are our top 10 reasons you need to take your job hunt up a digital notch or two.
You’re good at it
Far from being a waste of time, your online dexterity is actually a skill. You know exactly the hacks, the shortcuts and the quirky little tricks that can make you look awesome online.
Just remember to clean up your social media before you start your job hunt - and get someone else to check it too. What you think of as innocent fun might be too racy/political/illegal for a prospective employer.
Make Google work for you - and an employer
Reports suggest as many as 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of something they saw about them on social networking.
It’s a sobering thought, but it’s also suggested that 68% have hired someone based on the same online presence.
So as a jobhunter, make sure search engines are working for you, not against.
You’ve been through your own Facebook profile with a fine-toothed comb, but you need to Google yourself to find out what the net is really saying about you.
Sites such as Socioclean.com may help alert you to anything controversial that pops up on your social media platforms.
But social media isn’t just a threat - it can be a huge help too. Read up on your sector and work out what keywords people might use when they’re looking to hire a new employee. Then when you come to build your profile, include as many of those keywords as possible. Make sure you’re very easy to find.
You can be who you want to be
Cleaned up and honed, your social presence is your oyster. You have the capacity to present yourself in whatever way you choose, for maximum employability.
Boost your profile by linking your various online platforms with each other. You’re likely to use Facebook for more personal connections - including building your personal brand. Twitter is more instant and can provide links to your latest blog post, reactions to news events etc. and LinkedIn is all about that business focus.
If you combine them, you’ll present a very rounded picture that could prove irresistible. Sites such as Reppler.com may help you to manage your online image across different social networks.
It’s a two-way conversation
The opportunity to engage with your dream employer is greater than ever before. Follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook - comment on posts, share information from and with them and generally make your presence felt in a positive way.
Just beware of overdoing it. Nobody wants to employ their stalker.
Visual CVs are impressive - and a piece of cake to create
Linking to an online CV is way more impressive than a flimsy sheet of A4 in the post.
To start you off, check out ResumUP - it takes literally a couple of clicks to create a very slick-looking online profile.
Choose whether it mines Facebook or LinkedIn for your information and you’re away. You’ll need to tidy up a few bits and bobs - when we tested it, it got our gender wrong, for example.
6. It helps you think out of the box
Sites such as MyCareerMatch.com analyse your skills and personality and suggest the best careers for you. They’re bound to come up with a few suggestions you’d never thought of - which could open up a whole host of new opportunities - and perhaps lead you to the dream job you’d never even thought of.
It does the hard work for you
CV matching sites such as FreeMyCV.com can save you lots of time by posting your CV to all the key jobhunting sites.
If your search is more specific, most sector sites include news and blogs that keep you updated on all the news and opinion you need to know. Check in regularly and use them as a one-stop-shop to keep you
It can keep you posted
The amount of information swimming around on the net is enough to overwhelm even the most avid reader.
Cut through the junk by setting up Google Alerts to email you the latest updates on whatever you choose - and you can receive them in real time, daily or weekly. It’s an effective way to keep tabs on a particular company, job opportunities in a location or trends in an industry.
It can help you find hidden jobs
By thoroughly researching a company, keeping tabs on their news and updates, you might even be able to access roles before they’re even advertised.
As long as you don’t overdo it, most employers will be chuffed that you’re interested enough in their company to make a speculative approach.
It’s all connected
A whopping 94% of employers use social media to help recruit - with LinkedIn being the most popular.
The site is very helpful when it comes to job hunting - find one role and, alongside, you’ll find other vacancies in that business, plus similar positions being advertised at other companies.
Not only that, but LinkedIn will also attempt to show you how you are connected to the job - that old school friend may now work for the company you’re targeting. A friendly, professional email to them and you’re already one step ahead of everyone else applying blind.
With plenty of tools available to help you, finding your dream job should be a doddle. Why not start by checking out Orion Group for their latest vacancies?