As well as your application form and exam results, prospective employers will almost definitely check out any social media profiles you have to decide whether you get an interview. Our guide will make sure they like what they see.
LinkedIn is a great way to highlight your skills and experience. Completed profiles are seven times more likely to be viewed (as well as all those school leaver applications, don’t rule out the possibility of being headhunted!) so include projects you’ve worked on, extra curricular activities and even your part time job. All of these give an insight into ‘brand you’ and show prospective employers and connections what makes you different from the crowd.
Once you’ve built yourself up a great profile, it’s time to start making connections. Reach out to family and friends as well as anyone you think might be interested in your developing career path. It only takes 50 trusted connections on LinkedIn to start seeing a difference to your network and these people could be all that stands between you and that school leaver programme.
Find out more about the skills and experience you’ll need through relevant LinkedIn Groups. Use them to interact with like-minded people and professionals who are already successful in the career you want to pursue.
Build up a social network of contacts in the industry you’re interested in and let the Twittersphere know that you are looking for a school leaver programme. It’s definitely worth following companies that you want to work for (some even have dedicated Facebook and Twitter feeds for their school leaver schemes) to help you find out more about them. You’ll also be the first to know about new opportunities.
First things first: Don’t have that infamous photo of you passed out in a rabbit fancy dress costume as your Facebook profile picture, 65% of recruiters check out job candidates on Facebook: you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons!
Even though it’s not as CV-led as Linked In, Facebook does present you with an easy way to show off your work credentials. Just click on “edit profile,” and the top of the screen lists “Work and Education.” As well as your current job (or school course), you can list duties and accomplishments, and to be really smart you can classify your friends – so you can target work-related status updates at your professional contacts.
Go to your list of friends and hover your cursor over the “Friends” rectangle next to a professional contact’s name. You’ll see a range of lists, including the option to create a “new list.” Create one called “Professional” or “Work” and find all of your friends who you would consider professional contacts, and add them to that list.
While it doesn’t replace Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for job networking, Google+ can be another way to connect with potential employers.
Like with Facebook, with Google+ you can control who gets to see what part of your profile. This can be set by individual or through groups, called Circles, which you set up yourself, allowing you to keep work and play totally separate. The people you add will never know which Circle you put them in or the name of that Circle.
When you post anything to your Google+ account, you can choose which Circle or Circles will see that post, photo or video. This feature is important in maintaining your professional appearance and controlling what a potential employer sees about you.
You can also add people or potential employers to Circles without needing them to “friend” you back. This way you can follow professional contacts or recruiters without the step of requesting their permission.