Personal Branding

The digital age, thousands of career websites, thousands of opportunities online, thousands of CV’s sent a day. The majority with the same content; so how do employers decide who to phone first, or give an interview to? ‘Back door references’!

Employers will look you up on social media

This should be no surprise to you that your potential employer has Facebook, Twitter or Instagram too. I mean the majority of the world have one or more social media accounts. The number of social network users around the world will rose from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year, that’s an 18% increase. With 35-45 year old’s taking over on Instagram (likely to be your employer age) there is no doubt they will check you out on social media first, to get a rough idea of what you are like as a person, what activities you engage in, how often you party, your social groups, what opinions you have on current affairs or your use of language.

To effect of social media on your personal brand

A Tweet at first post seems very innocent, eh? So you relax and post more, retweet, favourite, or share more, even if it is not your personal belief. You may have just found the post funny or wanted to raise awareness of something you don’t totally agree with, but at first glance this could be damaging to your personal brand. My personal brand is so important to me. I knew when I was being heavily watched by the media and I had to be careful, as I didn’t know who was watching me. I heard a story very recently; a girl applied for a role and got the job after several interviews. A few months down the line her employer looked to connect with her on Twitter and found some tweets they didn’t approve of and would have damaged their organisations brand image. The only thing left for them to do was to dismiss the employee. Is this wrong? Should they have dismissed her or simply asked her to remove the tweet.

Can you backtrack from a bad decision?

Are social media posts ever really gone once you delete them? I am just guessing, but there must be an archive somewhere.

But here is what I would say, let’s go back to the offline job search, let’s make our job search more personal. Okay you have seen the advertisement online, but what can you do to stand out from the other thousands of people who have seen the same advert. This is not to say be scared of the competition. This is saying do more than the competition give yourself an advantage. Do something so the recruiter or employer remembers you. So that you are on top of their candidate list.

The offline job search

Make that phone call.  If it is to a recruiter, set up a meeting so they get to know you better as a person. Let them know your background and the next step you want to take in your career, so they can tailor their search for you and find the right role for you. If you are calling a company directly, again try and set up that interview from the first phone call. Tell them you have seen the job advert on their website and you would have loved to have been involved in the projects they have already completed this year you are eager to see what is coming next but would love to be a part of it.

How to impress in the interview

Once you get in that interview as I have said many times it is all about your personality and showing them you can fit into their company’s culture and way of doing things. If you have the skills and relevant experience that will be evident in your CV and you will have more than enough to talk about in the interview.

Keep your social media accounts clean, as it is also a good way to scout for job openings. Companies may post vacancies; again give them a call and tell them you saw the opportunity on Twitter. They will love this, as they will see it as positive engagement via their social media channels.

[Main image credit: Shutterstock]

About Alfred Ajani

I am Alfred Ajani the Coventry University graduate from South London also known as ‘The CV Man’. Since my PR stunt at Waterloo station I have since appeared on the BBC One Show, RT UK, ITV News, various radio stations and talks shows in an attempt to give future graduates a voice in the world. I am now a display analyst at Forward 3D.

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