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Social Media Presence Guide

Social media can be a great tool to help connect you with Canadian employers, if you know how to use it properly. The contents of this guide are intended to help you build your social media presence in order to benefit your Canadian job search.

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The following are general guidelines only. You must tailor your social media presence to suit your own experiences.

What is Social Media?

Social media refers to popular websites and applications that allow users to create and share content, or to participate in social networking.

How Social Media Can Help

There are two major ways that your social media presence can impact your job search:

Having no social media presence, or having a bad social media presence, can actually hurt your job search.

Help Employers Find You

Employers who are seeking to fill a job opening might take to social media platforms like LinkedIn to find a replacement. Having a strong presence on these kinds of sites can make it easier for employers to find you. Once you are in contact with a potential future employer, they might try to find you on social media. Your social media presence can give them an idea about whether you are the type of person they want to hire.

Connect With Employers

Most employers have professional social media profiles or pages. Linking or following them can help you connect with the employer. Join groups associated with the employer you’re interested in, or the industry you want to work in. Actively engage with potential employers or colleagues on social media. By building relationship through social media, you can grow your network in your field, and increase your chances of receiving a Canadian job offer.

Social Media Platforms

There are a large number of platforms that Canadian employers might use, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram. Different social media platforms have different intended uses. Generally, the most useful platform for employment purposes is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented social media platform and job search engine. It can be used for professional networking, job posting, and job seeking. If you do not already have a LinkedIn profile, we strongly advise that you create one. If you are already on LinkedIn, the contents of this guide can help you improve your profile.

Social Media Tip

The best way to clean up your social media presence is by removing inappropriate content such as unprofessional photos or offensive posts from all of your accounts. Another option is to review your privacy settings. On most platforms, you can flag some or all content as ‘private’, which can restrict what employers see when they visit your profile.

Create Your Profile

The first step to building your social media presence on LinkedIn is to create a complete profile.

  1. Picture Your personal picture should show your head and upper body. About full body pictures or ‘action shots’. Be sure that your face is not hidden, and you are smiling. If possible, have your picture taken by a professional photographer.
  2. Contact Information Include up-to-date contact information. LinkedIn has an InMail service that allows members of your network to contact you directly, but employers might also use the name, phone number, and email address listed on your profile to get in touch.
  3. Social Media Handles Only include links to your other social media profiles if you are confident that they are professional enough to help you job search, or if they are relevant to your industry.
  4. Headline LinkedIn is both a social media site and a search engine. An effective headline can help employers find you by showing your profile as a result when the employer searches for someone like you.Use keywords like “expert” and “professional” as well as information about your experience and industry.Try to be creative in your headline, to help you stand out from the crowd.
  5. Summary Your summary is your chance to express yourself and to demonstrate why an employer should hire you instead of someone else.Look at other people’s profiles who have similar backgrounds to you and learn from them. Identify the skills you want to be recognized for in your summary, and describe why those skills are important and how they have benefited you professionally.
  6. Experience This section is similar to a traditional resume. Refer to How to Construct a Canadian Resume for a complete guide.Include all past jobs and volunteer experiences. Describe the specific projects that you have worked on, and highlight your role in them.
  7. Current Employment If you are employed, include your current title.Most recruiters and employers will research candidates for a job opening based on the candidate’s current title. So, not including a current employment position on your profile can damage your chances of being found by an employer. If you do not have a current title, include your former position or your desired position, with “In Transition” in the company name box.
  8. Endorsements LinkedIn allows members of your network to endorse you for skills.This can help prove to potential employers that you have the skills you’re claiming. Do not be afraid to ask your friends, family, or colleagues to endorse particular skills you want to highlight, and do the same for them. If you receive an endorsement for a skill that you do not want, you can always remove it. The larger and more varied your network, the more endorsements you can get, and the more credible you will seem to employers.
  9. Review Carefully review your profile for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Ask a friend or family member to look over your profile for you and check for spelling mistakes or make suggestions for improvement.

Social Media Tip

A custom URL can make it easier for employers to find you on LinkedIn. To change your LinkedIn profile URL, follow these steps:

  • Select ‘Edit Profile’
  • Click the ‘Edit’ icon next to your URL
  • Change URL to: linkedin.com/yourname

Grow Your Network

The more connections you have in your professional network, the more chances you have to connect with potential employers. You should have at least 50 connections. There are a few ways that you can grow your network.

  1. Personal Connections Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is intended to be used for professional purposes. You can connect with your immediate family members if you want to, but they are not usually considered valuable connections in your professional network.Other personal connections might be more valuable, including:
    • Friends
    • Colleagues (current and former)
    • Employers (current and former)
    • Classmates
    • Teachers
  2. Join Groups LinkedIn allows people to create groups as a way for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and more.Find groups to join by looking through your network, and the groups your connections are a part of, or by using the search feature at the top of your homepage. LinkedIn will also suggest groups you might like, based on your profile. Start with your local alumni groups, then try to find groups in your industry. Actively engage with your groups. Share content, join discussion threads, and invite other members to connect with you. The more active you are, the more likely an employer is to notice you.
  3. Follow Companies in your Industry Most companies have LinkedIn pages that you can follow. This is another way for you to connect with potential employers. Actively engage with the companies that you follow by participating in discussion threads on content that they share.Do not ask for a job on every company post. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. Engaging with that the company has shared will make you stand out, so when they have a job opening they may think of you.

Social Media Tip

The size of your network is important – but so is the quality. Make sure that all of your LinkedIn connections are professional. Do not accept invitations to connect with a stranger unless you can identify a connection with them, such as a shared group or school.

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