Money Talks, So Should You

5 ways to spike your career 'visibility' on social media

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to sell yourself as a potential employee, but they're also easy to do wrong.

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The online recruiting firm Jobvite.com says 75 percent of American workers are either seeking or open to new career opportunities.

This itch to move is no short-term phenomenon, but a culture of “constant job-seeking” that is another cog in the notorious “new normal” economists and sociologists talk about.

One-third of U.S. employees say finding a job is more difficult today than a year ago, the firm says, and 41 percent of U.S. workers believe they are “overqualified” for desired jobs. But that’s not stopping them from thinking of making a change.

READ: How are you perceived at work?

How can job-seekers stand out in such a competitive environment? Jobvite says — of employers and recruiters are “likely” to search social networks for job candidates, and a vast majority of hiring decision-makers say spelling errors and profanity are big negatives. So keep it clean.

Play up your career connections: Make it a habit to mention any links, memberships or affiliations with professional organizations or industry associations. According to Jobvite, 80% of recruiters “like” to see links to professional groups, yet only 20 percent of employees post that data on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Steer employers to your Facebook page: Only 17 percent of employees mention their Facebook page to employers in resumes, cover letters or on job interviews. Big mistake. Recruiters and employers love forward-thinkers, and having your own Facebook page — dedicated to your career — separates you from the pack.

“Google Me”: Make sure to check Google and see what pops up when your name is popped in. Why? Hiring managers seek candidates who are highly visible in the public domain — it shows you’re active and aggressive about your career, two traits companies love. But if companies can’t find you, they may view you as being too private. Worse, they may think you have something to hide.

READ: What should I do if I want to live and work abroad?

Be steady on Twitter: When it comes to Twitter, be a “Goldilocks” Tweeter. You want to reach a balance of steady, uniform tweets on your industry and on career-oriented passions. Again, keep your tweets clean and direct and provide links to support any of your stronger opinions. Too few tweets makes you look less engaged or indifferent. Too many and an employer will wonder how you can get any work done with all of those tweets you’re sending. Some personal tweets are fine — employers love to see the personal side, too.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to promote you to hiring decision-makers, but only if you manage your social networking persona right. Do that, and you’ll stand out from the crowd and improve your career standing in the process.

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Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.