We all know actively putting time and effort into our social media profiles and website can help us throughout our careers. It’s important to set up strong profiles that get you found and tell your story. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean we have to spend hours a day on LinkedIn or Twitter waiting for that one game-changing post.
Through my work at FindSpark and as a professor teaching career and personal branding courses at multiple colleges, here are some of the most common social media practices I’ve noticed people neglect to do, and as a result, have missed career opportunities.
You’re Not Making it Easy for People to Find Your Email Address
Recruiting and hiring managers have limited amounts of time and oftentimes many options. You don’t want to miss any sort of career opportunity because it was too difficult to get in touch. The benefits of being easy to reach are much greater than the threat of spam.
Your LinkedIn profile has an official place to put your email address and a “best way to contact me” section; those are the easy ones. I recommend putting your email address in your summary and moving that section to the top. If you really want to make it easy, put it in your headline. Most people don’t reach the LinkedIn headline character limit, and it’s the first thing that shows up in searches.
For the contact page of your website, have a contact form in addition to an email that can be copy and pasted, since people have different preferences. I wouldn’t recommend putting your cell phone online, but instead to set up a Google Voice number (which is free) that forwards to your mobile phone. Been putting off launching your personal website? We recommend Wix.com, the best way to build a beautiful personal website for free!
On platforms like Instagram and Twitter, put your email address in your bio. One less obvious but great spot for it (so you can save the characters for your bio) is in the “location” section of those profiles, where you can put both a city and your email.
Notice my email is in the “location” section of my profile.
You’re Not Letting People See When You View Their LinkedIn Profile
Ah, the “See Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature. You love to know who’s looked at your profile, but feel weird about people seeing when you’ve viewed theirs. This feature seems to turn a lot of people off or get called “creepy.”
Here’s the thing: when you’re looking at your ex-boyfriends vacation photos with the new girlfriend or going through all the Instagram posts from the past two years of the girl you went on one date with, that’s creepy.
If you’re looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile, it’s probably for a good reason, and means you’re being proactive. Maybe you’re searching for someone you met at a network event, checking out a speaker who’ll be at a FindSpark event you’re attending, or checking out profiles of people who have a job you’d like to have in the future.
Let people see your profile after you’ve shown interest in theirs for whatever reason. It’s a great way for people to learn more about you, see your qualifications, and potentially spark a conversation.
All the information you can see under “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”
Simple sample message you can send when you want to connect with someone who’s viewed your profile.
You’re Not Engaging in Small Ways Long Term
“What can I do to stand out?” All too often people expect big, quick returns for small amounts of effort and time. The big way to win on social media when it comes to your career is to put forth consistent effort over long periods of time. I’m talking years, not months.
“How do I follow up? And how often?” It’s important to realize that every post, every favorite, every comment — those are all methods of following up with your network, building it, and maintaining it.
We all love notifications, and they are a great way to get and stay on the radar of your network
The people who are remembered, who stand out, and who get more opportunities because they are “lucky,” are those who are consistently connecting in little ways over time.
Mention your past bosses in LinkedIn updates in a post with an article they’d enjoy, congratulate a colleague through Twitter when they finish a project, and take a group photo at a conference and tag speakers and fellow attendees you met. Small actions like this add up over time.
What are your favorite social media tips, well known or relatively unknown? Share in the comments!