“To build an audience on Twitter, you have to share valuable content,” says Joel Capperella, vice president of Marketing for Yoh, a Philadelphia-based staffing and recruiting firm. Simply sharing a link isn’t enough.
Capperella suggests adding value by providing your perspective: Do you agree or disagree with the article? Are there other factors worth considering? This can encourage dialogue and interaction with other users, he says. Twitter also allows users to establish expertise and control their digital brand. “What [someone] shares, how they behave, and with whom they connect on Twitter offers a unique insight into who they are as a professional, creating an opportunity to show why they’re a good candidate,” Capperella notes.
Recently, he was asked by Fast Company for input on a story they ran in March about finding your next job on Twitter. It made him realize that even now, a full decade into the social media era there is still mystery around how these networks should be harnessed by both job seekers and employers alike. What is most surprising about this is the fact that there is even debate over just how valuable social networking is from the perspective of one’s career development. While there is certainly acknowledgement that Twitter, Facebook and the like are tools to be used in the job hunt or the recruiting process, there is still a cursory understanding of the impact that one’s digital footprint (or company digital footprint) has upon the trajectory of their career.
What professionals must understand is that they need to take greater ownership of how they are represented in public. A nicely compiled resume is still a good thing, but a resume with no links on it whatsoever is not something that a job seeker should ever provide to a prospective employer. When we suggest this, however, almost always we are immediately asked exactly what links they should be sharing. Before we answer the question quite simply, it is important to understand that we are not just talking about the links, but our professional digital portfolio. Bits and bytes that adequately represent who we are as professionals mingled with our personality and our interests - our professional brand if you will.
What You Should be Sharing
Twitter: This is the easiest way to get started. Get your account more active. First by simply sharing links, but then by making a conscious effort to provide some thought and perspective about the links you share. (Joel did a webinar about this almost a year and half ago, and while some of the material is dated the concepts remain valid. Check it out here. ) The idea is to offer up some insight, which in turn will generate conversation. Provide anyone who taps into your Twitter feed an idea about who you are as a professional. Don’t delay this one. You should be tweeting at least five to eight links a day that share your perspective.
Facebook: Yes you should include your Facebook profile on your resume. Why? Because again, it is another platform for you to represent yourself in the digital domain. This is not to say you just open your Facebook feed up to the world, but it does mean that you should be consciously posting something to your ‘public’ feed at least two times a month. How is this done? When you post a status there is a drop down that by default reads “friends”. Click that drop down and select public. Now you are filling out your public Facebook feed. Include the occasional picture or two as well to personalize.
Blog: You have to write. You have to. I don’t care who you are or what you do for a living, you need to put digital pen to digital paper and provide the occasional insight into something about your chosen career. Where to do this? Well there are many outlets. Medium is a hot new written word network, there is of course Wordpress and Tumblr, but I would suggest Google plus. While you might initially say that one uses Google plus why bother you must understand two things. 1.) Google plus allows long form blog type posting and 2.) Google always indexes Google plus pages. So if someone Googles you (which 95% of all hiring managers will most certainly do before or after you leave their office) your written musings on Google plus will be found.
YouTube: Not comfortable with the written word (get over it and write anyway I say), you can and should be creating some video on your own YouTube channel. Again, just musings about your career, you as a professional, and you as an individual. Video is usually optimized hiring than text so your video musings will add to your digital brand.
These are just some basics. Don’t get too hung up on the right or wrong way to do it, just get started. Never before have you had as much control over how potential employers view you as a candidate. Make it your responsibility to leverage this new reality by stacking the deck in your favor.