The days of circling vacancies in the paper are long forgotten now as the next generation of apple-branded, wireless workers are on the hunt for a salary.
The days of circling vacancies in the paper are long forgotten now as the next generation of apple-branded, wireless workers are on the hunt for a salary. The best way to go out and find work actually appears to be to stay in and do your research. But how can we make ourselves look that tiny bit more employable over our competition, before we’ve ever actually met potential employers?
Well the answer is obvious, and you’ve probably got two or three tabs up now, staring you in the face. You guessed it, social media. And up first, described as the “professional’s Facebook”, my recommendation is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network designed to showcase your CV with an accessible and interactive interface. Employers can not only see your experience, but can see the people it was with, how they’d recommend you, and what skills you gained from it. It’s easy to set up, and just as easy for an employer to access. It is in fact how I got the chance to write this article; there we have it, actual success. Not only can you send your profile to job prospects, but the companies will also suggest their vacant jobs to you! It’s a win-win situation and one we’ll see grow vastly in the next couple of years as more web designers jump in on the online job market game, for example, enthuse.me.
2. Clean up your act
We’ve all been there; you’re hungover and have had to ring in sick to your part-time workplace. Later that day however, you’re a little chirpier and head out, and your friends tag you on Facebook with them. Or worse your boss sees the picture from the night before, you know the one, meaning you jump every time your phone rings for fear of them calling you up. It may seem obvious, but cleaning up your online personal life can help! That doesn’t mean deleting everything – employers are going to want to see personality and character – personally I try to keep a bit of both. Work hard, play hard is what capitalism was built on, and is a clear mantra that every industry is aware of.
3. Show them what you’re capable of
Start a blog! Or better still, create your own website. Maintaining your own personal online space shows you’re passionate and interested in the career. It’s not now something you only think of as a job that has to be done, but a part of your life that you actually enjoy. Employers love to get to know you before they actually have to know you. To hear your personality shining through words, recipes, analysis. Whatever it is, the worldwide web is your oyster, and blogging is the aphrodisiac that’ll make an employer want you.
4. Broaden your horizons
This is a vague one. It’s the thing that’s been on every to-do list you’ve made since your 14th birthday but you’ve not got round to crossing it off. But seriously, want to improve your employability seven-fold? Then use the Internet’s vastness, to learn something new and get involved in a community. There are step-by-step tutorials on pretty much anything, from cooking to coding, painting to nursing. Put off chain-watching the latest season of Breaking Bad on Netflix for a couple of hours and take some lessons into how to design an app capable of translating languages. My first recommendation? CodeAcademy.com, but that’s my inner nerd breaking through.
5. Talk about it
Share your experiences. That’s what I’m doing right now. This is all a gambit to somehow make myself stand out against a crowd of enthusiastic students fresh on the scene. By getting involved in online communities it not only allows you to expand your CV, but also your phonebook. Contacts are what will help you succeed in society, you have to remember you’re not alone in this world, and most of us are all seeking a similar goal. A lot of us would also agree that we have no idea what that goal is. But get in the forums, connect your profiles and make friends. These friends could later be colleagues. Remember that next time you’re about to poke them at 4 in the morning.
If none of that works to improve your employability? At least you’ll now be a few clicks of the mouse/pad/cursor away from a ton-load of people in the same boat as you, with which you can moan about unemployment whilst sharing gifs of talking animals and mobster babies.
Make a start now. Rome wasn’t built in a day; fortunately a LinkedIn profile only takes about 10 minutes to create.
Do you use social media effectively to improve your employability? Tell us in the comments below.
Photo: The SeaFarer / Flickr