You’ve identified your top potential employers, updated your resume, and written a bomb cover letter. But the legwork is not quite over. It’s time to get social. We’re delving in to our top tips to make sure your social media presence is as employer-ready as your CV is. Let’s get to it.
Step 1: Do A Deep Dive + Delete
As much as we want to project an authentic version of ourselves on social, there are some grey areas to keep in mind as to what’s considered hireable. When it comes to alcohol related content, ask yourself, “is this cute?” and “is it necessary?” Don’t freak. Cute pics from your girl gang’s wine tasting are probably safe. The late-night pics are the ones that need the boot. Treat your social like your SO’s parents are looking at it. Anything you have to justify with context either needs to be reposted to a Finsta account, archived, or deleted.
If you’re applying to a creative role where your personal brand/aesthetic is distinctly different than the brand’s, consider steering your aesthetic in a more on-brand direction either temporarily or permanently. Your feed is a great way to show your potential employers what you can do, and they will be looking. Check out Later’s tips on Optimizing Your Instagram Portfolio.
If your potential employer is conservative and your ability to curate a digital presence is pretty irrelevant, consider going private, at least during the hiring process.
Step 2: Update Outdated Info
It’s important to keep your digital presence up-to-date, but we know it’s easy to fall out of habit especially on your lesser-used platforms. This is the perfect time to dust off those neglected platforms and do a quick tidying. We’ve made a checklist for you:
- Update your profile picture to something more professional. This does not need to be a professional headshot, but your appearance should demonstrate your personality and encourage your potential future co-workers to want to get to know you.
- Update your current and past job titles and companies. No need to include responsibilities on this platform, though adding a link to your portfolio is a nice touch if you have one! (And you should, more on that in a different post.)
- Make sure your bio is short, sweet, and casual-but-goal-oriented. This does not need to be a mission statement, we want you to keep it simple.
- If you’re keeping your account public, hide anything from your Timeline you wouldn’t want your employer to see. (We’ll let you decide what needs to go.)
Step 3: Take a deep breath, and log-in to LinkedIn
This portion is going to take the longest because it is hands-down the most important platform to focus on. Your LinkedIn is the first thing a recruiter looks at when considering you as a candidate, so it should be given just as much attention as your resume. Let’s start at the top.
Your LinkedIn profile pic needs to be the most recent professional photo taken of you. Sure, you can use an iPhone if you really have to, but please put on a work-casual top and turn on Portrait Mode.
Yes, really. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it shouldn’t be a low-res screenshot of some flowers, either. Keep in mind what colors are featured in your profile photo, and then create a graphic from there. Not skilled in Photoshop? Use a easy graphics creator like Canva to get yourself sorted.
Headline + Summary
These should be married but should NOT be the same. Think of your Headline as clickbait for recruiters while your Summary emphasizes why you’re qualified. Be sure to include major accomplishments, especially ones you can back up with facts and figures. Here’s an example:
Headline: Marketing, Publicity, Content Creation
Summary: Well-rounded creative in the Publicity, Social Media & Marketing, and Content Creation realms. Able to wear multiple hats & manage many different types of tasks. Extensive Social Media Experience with Something Social, working with over 65 brands & clients in the lifestyle space.
To find more about my work, please visit my website: [enter URL].”
Make sure this reflects the career shift that you’re looking to make, not necessarily the position you hold now.
Upload any key pieces here. First and foremost, your resume and then follow that up with any high-quality work sample you want recruiters to focus on. This includes portfolio PDFs, a video reel, you name it. We suggest you use this space to give employers a generalized taste of the work you’re capable of creating. More specific project samples are going to come later.
Each entry should include your title, company, and the dates you were employed, but the most important part is something way too many applicants skip over. The power of your LinkedIn profile lies in the description and the attachments you include for each entry.
Descriptions are tough to write, but you’re in luck because there are people who literally get paid to write these for you. Open a word doc and copy the bullet points that apply to your current and past responsibilities. Slightly re-write them, then throw them into your entries. Your most recent three positions should have at least three bullet points, the older ones should have at least two. Make sure your sentences begin with active verbs (managed/activated/analyzed/collaborated). For past positions, use past-tense, for current positions, use present-tense.
You know that part underneath each LinkedIn job entry where you can upload files or attach links? It’s an opportunity to create a super clickable digital portfolio for recruiters to quickly peruse. The easier you make a recruiter’s job, the quicker that shiny new job offer will land in your inbox.
Our Brand Communications Manager, Kaeleigh, previously worked in the film industry and as a result, her profile is a great example of how to use this feature. Check her out here.
This is not a college application and as a result it is not the time to lie about all the “volunteering” you’re doing. If you’re not actively volunteering, that’s not going to negatively impact your ability to land a job, but lying will.
If you do have experience, however, go nuts! Employers want to know what’s important to their prospective hires, so this is a nice way to present the full picture of who you are, especially if you’re a recent grad or are light on the work experience.
Skills & Endorsements
Start this section by making sure everything that’s listed on your resume is listed here. Delete any duplicates because you will get capped with the number of skills you can have listed. (For example, you don’t need “Photoshop” and “Adobe Photoshop.”) Then do a little research.
Look at the jobs you’re the most interested in applying for and make sure your listed skills line up. Having the LinkedIn Premium feature really helps with this, so if you’re considering upgrading during your job hunt, definitely do. #notsponsored
Once you’re done filling up your skills sections with all your amazing talents, get some of your friends to endorse the heck out of you and be sure to do the same for them.
This one is pretty easy but might require some following up. Reach out email via to people who would give you a glowing recommendation. Not just past bosses, but coworkers, colleagues, professors, etc. Once they agree to write you a recommendation, send them the request through LinkedIn and wait for the ego-boosting to begin!