You are the workforce that every company needs in the digital revolution. There isn’t enough of you to go around, with evidence of the technology skills gap and a real need for tech talent across all sectors as companies digitalise their products and services. So, before I share tips on how to help make you stand out on social media, remember you are already in the best position to make yourself stand out from the rest of your competitor talent.
The people between you and your dream job. Yes, tech recruiters still hire through network referrals, and yes, you should definitely sign up to company talent community’s and apply for jobs online. However, gone are the days of recruiters looking at simply your cover letter, CV or your application online. Nowadays, they want to see who the real person is behind the CV. They want to see how much of an “advocate” you are of a particular tech field? If you’re in a senior position, are you “influential” or a “thought leader”? How might they find out you ask? Social media.
Whether you’re a techie or non-techie, the way you portray yourself on social media shouldn’t differentiate. If you’re looking for your next career move in the sphere we call IT, Technology, Software or the Application Economy, then I have 5 top tips that will make you stand out amongst your competition on social media.
When you are looking for your next career move, you’ll have a number of companies you could see yourself working for. Typically, you’ll go onto the companies’ respective website, join their Talent Community, follow their company and career channels on social media and apply for a position online. This is all good stuff. However, consider going one step further and find out who the recruiter is who’s sourcing candidates for that dream job you want. One way is looking at the actual job ad as occasionally it will state who the recruiter is that’s hiring for the role. If not, you can find them through searching on platforms like LinkedIn for terms like, “Recruiter at Company X” or “Recruitment at Company X” or “Talent Acquisition at Company X” to see what results throw up. It’s worth adding locations where applicable, but be aware some recruitment teams recruit outside of where they are based, so keep this in mind when searching. Make a connection with them, and follow them on multiple other social networks as well. Engage with them either through commenting on a recent post or direct messaging them on the social channels of your choice. When the recruiter has seen your application submitted online, received multiple notifications on various social channels of the same person looking to get in touch, you’re going to stand out more than the next person who may have just applied for the job online.
Tech recruiters will look at your profile and what you post. However, the best tech recruiters will also look at some of the people you follow and who you are connected with. Ensure your real life business networks are represented on social media to showcase the value you can add, of being well networked professionally. On top of that, what tech publications and media outlets do you follow and engage with to ensure you’re up to date with tech trends, industry insights and knowledge? Tech recruiters want to employ people that love, live and breathe what they do. If you’re active in terms of keeping up to date with the industry through following all the biggest thought leaders and publications within the tech space, you’re going to come across as a well-rounded candidate when it comes to your own personal brand and how you portray yourself through social media. Unsure of who to follow? Do some research – if there are any blogs or publications you read regularly, make sure you’re following them on social media. A good way of growing your networks on social media is to connect with people you do business with as well as follow publications, thought leaders, tech authors and journalists as and when you read articles or blog entries.
As important tip #2 is; you need to ensure you’re engaging with the content that your network produces. Share, comment on, like and favourite content that appears in your timelines. Engage! Don’t be passive and just read the content. If you think it could add value to your audience, share it. If you have a strong opinion on a particular post or article that was shared, reply back or leave a comment on the article. If it’s something you enjoyed reading give the post a ‘like’. These forms of engagement all positively impact your personal brand. People have the misconception that you’ve got to create posts and content in order to stand out. Leverage what relevant content has already been produced by others and tap into their wider networks through engaging with it. From all of the engagement work you do, Tech Recruiters will not only see that you’re interested in keeping up to date with tech trends but with actions such as post comments, they’ll be able to see your commentary on particular tech topics which again, adds value to your online personal brand.
Do you find yourself having conversations about particular software or new tech that’s coming out. I’m pretty sure “Tech Talks” with peers are pretty common place. Have you thought about turning these topics and talking points into content? Whether it’s a very short post, a blog post, a vlog, or a short video. Maybe you might be a creative yourself or know someone who’s good with design who can turn your idea into an infographic that can be shared on your social channels. I’d suggest sticking to something you feel comfortable doing. If you’re more of a writer – stick to an informative posts or writing blog posts. If you struggle to put ideas onto paper, why not consider video? Filming on your smartphone and sharing it on your social channels couldn’t be easier. Granted it may take some practice and a few takes but recruiters will see what you look like, and you can definitely portray your passion through the way you deliver the video. If you really wanted to stand out, you could consider creating your own YouTube Channel.
Your social profiles will vary due to the differing channel parameters when it comes to creating your profile. That’s why it’s vital on channels that restrict the amount you can say about yourself, that you are selective with what you choose to share. To make things easier, I’ve provide some tips that should help you stand out when it comes to your professional profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
LinkedIn: First and foremost, make sure your ‘Profile Photo’ is a professional headshot and you’re smiling. State your location and ensure your ‘Headline’ includes more than just your job title - what other keywords can you include that adds value to what you do? For example, rather than “Software Engineer at X Company”, consider “Software Engineer specialising in Mainframe Technologies at X Company”. I’d also advise adding a list of keywords that you would associate with your profession, sector, job title and location to the ‘Summary’ part of your profile. This is only going to make you stand out when recruiters are searching for professionals with specific tech skills. When adding your ‘Current Position’ in the employment history section, be sure to describe your role in an informative way showcasing your results and impact. Remember you can add media to your employment history. Any relevant websites, webpages, blogs, videos or whitepapers you can share will help paint the picture for the recruiter of what you’re currently doing. Have you won any awards? Have you attended any trainings? Share this information. Do make sure you add skills to your profile and seek endorsements from peers. Finally, ‘Recommendations’ are also a great co-sign from fellow professionals who can vouch for your professional excellence. Recruiters feel trusted when they can see referees comment highly about you.
Twitter & Instagram: Again, make sure your ‘Profile Photo’ is a professional headshot and you’re smiling. Ensure you add your location (on Twitter, not Instagram), and when it comes to your bio, state your job title and current employer. Due to Twitter and Instagram’s cap on characters, be selective when it comes to listing some of your technical skills. These are the things recruiters are searching for and it’s going to make you stand out. Also, you can include hashtags around particular parts for the tech industry you work in. Do you specialise in #SoftwareDevelopment, #IOT or the #AppEconomy? I’d also ensure you try and include a relevant link to your work, in the website field.
I do hope these 5 tips go some way to helping you land your next career move in the tech industry. I wish you all the very best with your job search and hope these tips are easy enough for you to implement. Let me know if any of these tips come in helpful for you or if you can offer any additional tips by connecting with me. Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Follow me on Twitter @StuartGHazell.
Stuart Hazell is the Employer Branding and Talent Acquisition Marketing Leader at CA Technologies. Stuart is based in London, UK and specialises in recruitment marketing careers to technology talent across the world. Not only has he increased employee engagement on social media through internal training but he works with the recruitment team to create innovative attraction marketing strategies to support with hiring talent. Find out what #LifeAtCA is like in pictures on Instagram and Twitter. If you are interested in careers at CA Technologies, visit ca.com/SoftwareJobs. You can connect with Stuart on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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