If you want to work in Digital you are lucky. Lucky because you have at your disposal a plethora of tools and tricks you can use to stand out from the crowd and convey your personality. That being said, it’s equally important to avoid the pitfalls.
I asked Niklas, our in-house expert (above), how you should curate your online profile in order to boost your chances of landing that first job.
Some (quite a few actually) years back, when I was on the receiving end of recruitment services, I thought that the recruiter was going to change my life and get me a top job without me having to do much more than attending interviews. I wasn’t very successful. Partly because the recruiter just had his own commission in mind but also because I didn’t do my part at all. I didn’t realise that there was so much more I could do to “pimp” myself.
I didn’t realise that just like any marketing campaign we need to look at all the things we can do to get ourselves out there, promote ourselves and sell ourselves to the employer. The recruiter is just one channel in your own little marketing mix. Depending on the recruiter he may just introduce you to jobs but he might be more of a coach and support, and most of the time it’s that support that makes the difference. The good thing these days – and specifically in digital – is that there are so many little (and free) quick fixes we can do to stand out and cut through the dust.
Now on the other side (being the recruiter) I often get asked what you can do to boost the job search. And because I work with graduates and school leavers I understand how big a step it is to move into your first job and how difficult it can be to figure out what to do to get there. So you’ve got your CV and cover letter sorted, what’s next?
Simply, online profiles. To be very honest, if you’re looking for a job in digital media and you don’t have your online profiles up to scratch you’re not just lagging behind but it can also do you a disfavour. Often recruiters, talent teams and hiring managers will go online to check you out, not necessarily to spy on you and dig up dark details but just to get a better flavour for who you are and how well absorbed you are in the world of digital. There have been cases where hiring managers have told me they can’t proceed because they have stumbled upon alarming content (tweets, blog posts, images, Instagram tags) so this is best avoided but the fun part is using online profiles to your advantage.
What I always recommend is to do an audit of your online presence. It’s all about the whole picture but it’s the little details that make the difference. Just simply take a look on your profiles from the eyes of an employer. A couple of things:
- Google yourself. What do you find? Did you find anything at all?
- What’s your email address? Tiredandlazyidiot_666@…. will probably not be working in your favour.
- Lock you Facebook profile and keep it private. But still go through your content, it’s likely that you will connect with colleagues (who might be friends with your boss) once you get your job.
- Go through your tweets and clean out any inappropriate comments.
- If you have a blog or website, what does it say about you? Does it look good? Make sure you don’t have any spelling errors etc. Attention to detail is incredibly important, because it’s likely that you will end up working on clients online campaigns and if you’re sloppy the job isn’t going to be yours.
- How’s your profile on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the most widely used recruitment platform in the UK so it’s obviously one of the most important tools for your job search. If you’re not on LinkedIn make sure you get your profile set up as soon as possible.
- Google+ might not be everyone’s first choice but if you want to work in digital, having a presence on Google’s social platform is not going to hurt, plus it will help if someone search for your name.
- If you’re using other social media (Instagram, Pinterest etc) think about how it can help you.
- Skype is very useful as well, especially if you’re looking for a job far from where you live. Recruiters and hiring managers want to meet you in person already from start but a Skype video chat can be a good substitute for a first interview if it’s inconvenient for you to travel.
If you don’t have them already, consider getting those profiles you think will be useful to get the type of job you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a content marketing job a blog where you can showcase your writing skills is great. If you’re looking for an onsite SEO or web analytics job a website could be the way forward. Not only does it show you’re on top of things and immersed in your field it also works as a testing ground for digital marketing principles and techniques.
When you have done all that, promote it. Make sure everything is interlinked, make sure your recruiter has all links and add all of it (Facebook and personal things being the exception) onto your CV. Make it easy to access.
Need help or feedback? Get in touch if you want to chat about your own profiles, I’m happy to help. Niklas@neilsrecruitment.co.uk.
Niklas, you make a lot of sense my friend. Watch this space as he is going to go into a bit more detail about LinkedIn in an upcoming blog. Right, go and Facebook the Google Plus out of Twitter and then blog about it. It might just land you a job.