While technology is evolving faster than ever, it is highly unlikely that robots will ever replace humans. In the foreseeable future, people will remain at the core of the workforce. However, technological advances are transforming the workplace in other ways. We will be seeing a drop in low-skill jobs, since these can easily be automated, while the number of high-skill jobs climbs. Learn more about the effects of AI on the job market in this infographic. Continue reading
Robot invasions were once the stuff of sci-fi books and horror movies, but with recent technological advancements and the rise of artificial intelligence, those robot fantasies are beginning to seem uncannily real. Artificial intelligence, simply referred to as AI, has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Machine Learning means that programs can pick up on patterns and “learn” from them—essentially predicting our behavior.
Chatbots handle the front lines of customer questions, software can scan contracts for key information, and online retailers deliver personalized recommendations picked by an algorithm. Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay, and it’s quickly infiltrating the workplace.
Now hiring robots!
One topic of interest when it comes to AI is whether it will eliminate enough jobs to raise the unemployment rate. On one hand, being able to order from a machine at McDonald’s means there can be fewer cashiers—maybe even none at all. Technology has advanced to the point where it can replace many low-skill positions, which means many of these jobs will be phased out.
On the other hand, however, the rise in technology is also creating millions of jobs – 2.3 million jobs by 2020 to be precise (Gartner). Not only are companies in need of people to research, design, and develop technologies, they also need technicians to implement and maintain the products.
The question is then whether technology will eliminate more jobs than it creates. The answer, according to Gartner is no. Gartner predicts that AI will create half a million jobs more than it eliminates.
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Technology’s greatest change won’t be in the number of jobs, but in the kind of jobs.
Experts predict that manufacturing will see the biggest loss of jobs in the coming years. Areas where the manufacturing industry is strong will see a significant drop in jobs. According to World Bank, automation currently threatens 69% of the job market in India and 77% in China (Entrepreneur). Other low-skill jobs are also in danger, with Goldman Sachs predicting that self-driving vehicles will cause 25,000 truckers to lose their jobs each month (CNBC).
Meanwhile, those 2.3 million jobs that will be added to the market will more likely be in middle- or high-skill positions. OECD identifies some key components that make jobs difficult to automate:
- Social Intelligence – caring for others and recognizing cultural sensitivities
- Cognitive Intelligence – creativity and complex reasoning
- Perception and Manipulation – the ability to carry out physical tasks in an unstructured work environment
For example, Gartner predicts that check-out cashiers will get the robot treatment (in fact many stores already feature self-check-out), while sales associates positions will stick around. Sales associates interact more with customers, giving recommendations and suggesting new products. This makes them harder to replace with machines. When you come in with an unusual request, a human sales associate is more likely to understand what you need.
Low-skill jobs will be automated, being slowly replaced with more middle- and high-skill positions. In the future, we will be working side-by-side with machines, relying on AI to complete the more monotonous tasks (Forbes).
Becoming the worker of the future
As lower-level jobs are phased out of the market, expectations for workers will also shift. More positions will be opening in the tech sector, including big data, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cybersecurity (Entrepreneur). This means that job seekers will need to acquire a different skill set to thrive in these growing fields.
The workforce of the future will be more skilled than the workforce of the past. They will be better educated and more tech-savvy, with much more precise specializations. Millennials and Generation Z, with their intuitive understanding of technology, already make up a large part of the workforce. Millennials alone currently account for more than a third (Pew).
OECD highlights the uneven distribution of future jobs, with the scales severely tipped in the favor of high-skill jobs. They stress the importance of on-the-job training and adult learning, since these are key in preparing for the future. In fact, some companies are already gearing up for major retraining efforts.
AT&T made the news earlier this year for their grand-scale retraining initiative. About a decade ago, executives realized that only half of the company’s employees had the skills to work with emerging technologies. While hiring new employees seems like the obvious answer, the high cost of turnover makes it an expensive solution. Instead, AT&T decided to train current employees, arming them with necessary skills and tools (CNBC). This means that not only can they have a workforce with precisely the required skills, but that about 125,000 employees who were deemed under-skilled won’t lose their jobs.
The future does look like a sci-fi novel… but we don’t know which one.
These workplace transformations aren’t new. Fifty years ago, your average office looked quite different. There was no IT department, and definitely no social media manager. Memos were posted on boards rather than emailed, and customer reviews traveled via word of mouth rather than Yelp, making it much easier to outrun a bad reputation.
Similarly, the rise of AI will transform the workplace—who knows what it will look like by 2068!
As a worker, the key is being willing to learn new skills. Not only does this make you a more attractive job candidate, but it also puts you on the front lines for positions that haven’t even been created yet.
While technology is evolving faster than ever, it is highly unlikely that robots will ever replace humans. In the foreseeable future, people will remain at the core of the workforce. However, technological advances are transforming the workplace in other ways. We will be seeing a drop in low-skill jobs, since these can easily be automated, while the number of high-skill jobs climbs.
You might not need to start preparing for the robot apocalypse (not yet, at least), but being open to learning new skills and tools means that you’ll be better prepared for the jobs of the future.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, don’t let yours be unprofessional. Check out our tips to make the most out of LinkedIn. Continue reading
LinkedIn – where social media meets professional networking! LinkedIn is like holding a resume megaphone at the world’s biggest networking event. Currently, 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting (Jobcast) and among those who found their job through social media, 40% cite assistance from LinkedIn.
If you use Facebook in your job search, you must balance a professional and a casual social presence (check out our guide on Facebook for job seekers), but LinkedIn allows you to present yourself solely as a professional entity. Everyone on the site has the same intention: to expand their professional network. This makes it easier to differentiate between what is appropriate and what is not.
Currently, LinkedIn has 133 million users in the United States alone (Omnicore) and 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates (DMR). With so many eyes on you, you must be prepared to wow!
Remember that the job market is in the candidate’s favor. Even if you are a passive candidate (working, but open to new opportunities), a polished profile can help you further your career. You only get one chance at a first impression—don’t let yours be unprofessional! Think of LinkedIn as an online resume with a little extra personality. Your profile should be both eye-catching and effective.
*Disclaimer: These are only recommendations. There are no requirements on your social media behavior. The tips listed are only intended to be helpful insider information from our hundreds of recruiters.
Privacy: Go Public
There’s no good reason to keep your LinkedIn profile private. On sites like Facebook or Twitter, it makes sense to reserve most information for your friends. However, on LinkedIn you want recruiters to find you – which means you want to be visible to strangers. Keeping information private means you might get looked over.
To change your privacy settings, log in and click on your profile.
Then click on “Edit public profile & URL” on the right hand side.
Here, you can select what you want to make public. It’s best to select every box, but at the very least we recommend including your:
- Current Experience
- Past Experience
While you’re in this section, edit your profile URL.
When you first signed up, LinkedIn assigned you a random URL. Edit this into something that’s easier on the eyes, also known as a vanity URL. Just as you would with a professional email, make sure it is appropriate and reflects your name. For example, if your name is Bob Smith, try something like linkedin.com/BobSmith1234 or linkedin.com/BobSmithLosAngeles. Do NOT choose linkedin.com/badboy97 or linkedin.com/pro4ubsmith.
Once you have a vanity URL, you can include it on your paper resume. Recruiters can check out your profile and learn about experiences that wouldn’t fit on your one-page resume.
The intro is what people will see most frequently. When you land on a recruiter’s search, this is the information they will see.
This includes your photo, name, headline, current position, location, and industry. You can customize nearly every aspect of this – just click on the little pencil in the corner.
Keeping this information current can help you land more offers. According to DMR, keeping your positions up to date makes you 18 times more likely to be found in searches by recruiters and other LinkedIn members.
Compose a headline that succinctly and accurately represents you. Never make up a title or refer to yourself as a “Guru” or “Ninja.” These made-up positions don’t mean anything to recruiters and they don’t provide any credibility to your profile. Instead, choose something that briefly lets viewers know who you are and what you do.
- Branch Manager at Ultimate Staffing
- HR Consultant helping companies hire the right people faster
- Freelance grant writer working with non-profits in Los Angeles
While it can feel superfluous to feature a picture on a professional site, a photo enlivens and gives credibility to your profile. LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages (DMR).
Embrace the human element of LinkedIn and use a photo! However, don’t just copy and paste your Facebook profile picture. Having the right picture is crucial.
Photos taken by professionals are always best. Photos with professional headshots get 14 times more views (DMR), but if that’s not an option, here are a few tips for snapping the perfect, job-winning LinkedIn picture:
- ALWAYS wear professional clothes in your photo. Appropriate clothing can vary from one industry to another. If you’re unsure what constitutes appropriate attire in your industry, check out what other LinkedIn users are wearing in their profile pictures. When in doubt, err on the side of formality.
- You can take a photo of yourself, but be wary of the angles you employ. For a selfie, take it straight on, preferably from the chest up. It’s usually best to grab a friend and have them take the picture. That way, your arms aren’t awkwardly positioned in the frame. Additionally, a photo that is too close can make viewers uncomfortable.
- Whatever you do… NO CAR SELFIES. NEVER. NO MATTER WHAT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. The lighting might be in your favor, but it’s incredibly unprofessional, looks lazy, and can even suggest narcissism. Don’t do it. You’re worth so much more.
- Do NOT crop a group picture. Employers can totally see your friend’s shoulder and cropped pictures are rarely good quality.
- Don’t use photos from your wedding. Just because you got professional photos taken, it doesn’t mean they are appropriate. Pictures from weddings, graduations, and other non-professional events are often too personal for LinkedIn. However, if you have a professional photo session coming up, bring a shirt and a blazer and get a couple of specialty business shots.
- Most importantly…say cheese! What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone? You smile. It’s a natural human cue to indicate that you are safe, nice, and welcoming. No matter how artsy you are, no staring pensively into the distance, no duck face, and no maniacal laughter either. Humans rely heavily on eye contact for social relationships, so look into the camera and don’t wear sunglasses, ever. A nice warm, regular smile is all you need.
If you have a resume, then you know how fill in this section. Make it easy to read, quick to reference, and accurately reflective of your past positions.
To add experience, click the little plus sign and add all relevant work experience.
To optimize this section, consider these tips:
- Link each position to its respective company page
- Start descriptions with a brief and prompt overview of your position
- Utilize bullet points to further describe the position and achievements
- Employ action words (managed, created, grew, reduced, etc.)
- Include supporting documents and links to other media
- Use the appropriate tense (past-tense for past jobs, present-tense for current job)
- Always double, triple, and quadruple check spelling and grammar
The key here is using brief, clear language to speak to your skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments. If you need help with your resume, reach out to your Roth Staffing representative for general resume tips and apply them to your LinkedIn profile.
We also have a handy-dandy resume guide online.
How much detail you include in your education section depends on how long you’ve been out of school. Potential employers aren’t likely to be invested in activities from long ago.
If you’ve been out of school for a while, your main focus should be the Experience section. Under education, list only basic information (school and degree) and major accomplishments (graduating Magna Cum Laude). You can also list organizations to which you belonged if you think they might help you network (such as fraternities and sororities).
However, if you are a recent graduate, go more in depth in the education section.
List your college degrees, activities, societies, and major projects (if they have a professional application). Include awards won, research conducted, and honors received. If you have a college degree, you do not have to include high school, but you might still choose to if you would like to connect with fellow alumni.
Click on the plus sign to add information.
This section gives your profile dimension and shines light on your passions. Include past and present volunteer experience. However, make sure this experience is significant.
If you list the one Saturday you spent serving at a soup kitchen, it may come off as an attempt to fill up space. List repeat volunteer experiences, or events where you took on leadership roles. If you coordinated a charity walk, definitely list it. Include all the responsibilities and tasks as these can speak to your skills.
Skills & Endorsements
Recruiters can search by skills, so make sure you flaunt yours! LinkedIn users with at least five skills listed on their profile receive up to 17 times more profile views (DMR).
Be honest. Don’t list skills you “kinda know.” If an interviewer asked you to demonstrate a skill on the spot, could you perform it with flying colors?
Your connections can endorse these skills. A good way to increase your endorsements is to endorse others.
Your connections can write you recommendations, which are extremely powerful when searching for a job.
Ask people with whom you’ve worked closely to recommend you. Whenever possible, reach out to people in person or by phone prior to requesting a recommendation. If they agree, submit a request by clicking on “Ask to be recommended.”
Follow each step accordingly and customize your message at the bottom. Check out our tips on asking for a reference.
LinkedIn is the place to brag about yourself. In your Accomplishments section, list relevant recognitions and associations. Don’t shy away from “softer” accomplishments that could highlight your cultural fit with an organization.
In this section, you can add:
- Honors & Awards
- Languages Spoken (only if you are fluent)
- Test Scores
This section highlights the influencers, companies, groups, and schools you follow. Definitely expand this area, but try to avoid potentially controversial figures or causes – anyone can see who you follow.
Join groups that pertain to your interests and follow any organization you’d like to work for in the future. When their posts pop up in your feed, like and comment, making sure the organization sees you – follow the same rules for posting, sharing, and commenting outlined below.
Follow publications so that informative articles appear on your feed – it’s a great way to catch up on industry news, and you’ll have more interesting conversation topics to bring into interviews. Employers want to hire people who have a pulse on the industry.
Now that your profile is ready to mingle, it’s time to keep it active. When recruiters click on your profile, they can see your recent activity. No recent activity – or the wrong type of activity – can leave the wrong impression.
When adding connections, being with people you know, but don’t be afraid to branch out to others in the industry or even recruiters. When reaching out to distant connections, always go beyond the template and include a custom message.
Professionally and succinctly, tell them why you are interested in connecting. Quickly get to the point, include aspects of their profile that caught your eye, and don’t be afraid to compliment them. A good message can mean the difference between a connection and a bad first impression.
Here are a few examples of typical messages you might send:
A Casual Acquaintance
I’m glad we had the chance to meet through [connection]. I’d love to learn more about your work in [industry], particularly [topic]. Is LinkedIn your preferred method of contact?
Someone you met at a Networking Event
It was great speaking to you at the [event] last month. I enjoyed hearing your ideas about [topic/industry], and I am very intrigued to see what will happen next. I’d definitely like to stay in touch and keep up on the latest in your career.
I have been following [organization] and I came across your profile and couldn’t resist reaching out. I have been working in [industry] for ___ years, and currently seeking new opportunities. I’d love to talk about whether my background might be a fit for the organization – and also keep up on the latest within [organization] from your perspective.
Recruiters get a lot of messages, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get a response. Once you’ve connected, comment and like their posts and continue to message without being overwhelming.
You can freely message any of your connections. However, if you want to message someone you’re not connected to, you will have to purchase InMail capabilities. If you’re wary of dropping the cash, check out these tips from our social media manager, Valerie Killeen.
Tips from Within: InMail
Valerie oversees and sets the guidelines for all of our social media channels. Check out what she has to say about InMail:
No InMail, no problem! For professionals without a premium subscription, communicating on LinkedIn can be a bit frustrating. If you’d like to send a message to someone you’re not connected to, you can join a common LinkedIn group (you can send 15 free messages per month to fellow group members).
- LinkedIn group memberships are identified at the footer of each profile.
- Once you’ve been approved to join a group, you can search for fellow members within the group and select the envelope icon near their name to compose an InMail message.
- The best part? If your InMail receives a response, you can communicate back and forth as many times as you’d like without deducting from your 14 remaining InMail messages.
Posting & Sharing
Posting on LinkedIn increases your visibility, but only if you do it right. Anything you ever like, comment, or post can be seen by every single one of your connections. And if someone in your network likes or comments on your post, then it is visible by every single person in their network. It would not take long for a single inappropriate comment to find its way around the world.
Generally speaking, these are the best reasons to post on LinkedIn:
- Professional accomplishments
- New ideas or inspiration that relate to work life
- New development in your career or in the market
- Industry announcements or trends
- Job postings
- Professional events that you are attending or promoting
If it doesn’t fall into any of these categories, it may be better suited for a different platform. Experts recommend posting a few times a week, but no more than once per day.
Post articles. It’s a quick and simple way to engage with your connections, as long as you remember your R’s: Recent, Relevant, and Reliable.
You can also create your own articles. Share your expertise with the world. Just remember to keep it recent, relevant, and reliable. Don’t underestimate the power of your perspective.
Make sure anything you post comes from a reputable, professional source. For maximum engagement, include a quick sentence on why you find the article interesting.
Pro-tip: People love to interact and share ideas. Ask a question that can lead to more than a yes or no answer. For example, you can say, “I find it interesting that this expert discusses x and y as the driving factors, what have you found in your experience?” Now the conversation is flowing and you’re learning from your connections.
When posting, make sure you monitor your post appropriately. Don’t check it every five minutes, but be sure to correspond with those who comment in a timely manner. If someone is acknowledging your post, acknowledge them – engagement goes both ways.
A quick like, a “Thank you,” or a “Totally agree!” can go a long way. Reciprocity is key.
Beware the 7 B’s:
- Better Half: Unless you’re introducing your significant other to an online connection, or highlighting a professional accomplishment – there’s no need to post about them or your relationship. No anniversaries, no wedding photos.
- Booze: It’s no secret that your crazy weekend stories have no place in the office, and there’s no place for them on LinkedIn either.
- Bipartisan: Politics are a sensitive subject for many, and they can lead to heated arguments quickly. Quite simply, it’s just tasteless to discuss politics in a professional space.
- Bucks: Discussing salary on LinkedIn is a big no-no. This may scare away potential employers.
- Beliefs: For many, religion, or lack thereof, is a very personal topic, and it should remain personal. Avoid religious posts, even if they are positive.
- Battleground: Do not start arguments on LinkedIn, as that would be incredibly unprofessional. Also, avoid complaining about any current or past jobs.
- Blades + Blasters: Weapons have no place in the workplace. Weapons-related posts can make people feel uncomfortable, so it’s best to avoid these.
The rule should be: if I wouldn’t share it in an interview, I probably shouldn’t post it publicly.
NO SELFIES. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER – unless they depict something business related going on in the background, such as a prestigious award ceremony. You wouldn’t stop a coworker as they walk down the hall to show them a selfie you took in your car, so don’t post it on LinkedIn.
Posts that include a photo will get more attention, but the photo must be appropriate. If you won an award or attended an exciting professional event, by all means post. However, you must make sure you still uphold professionalism, outfits included. That means no photos of you in a bathing suit poolside at a conference, or in any other outfit you wouldn’t wear to the office.
You may be saying, “but the posts that violate these rules are the ones that get the most likes and comments,” and that’s true. It’s not necessarily a good thing that the post received so much attention. Don’t try to go viral for the sake of going viral. You shouldn’t be posting for likes; you should post to educate and share ideas with your connections.
Liking & Commenting
A friendly reminder: all of your connections can see everything you like and comment. Liking inappropriate posts or making off-putting comments can ruin your professional image.
Tips from Within: Don’t be that guy
Our social media specialist, Victoria Hayes, spends most of her day on LinkedIn. Check out her list of the 10 most annoying people on LinkedIn. Her advice? “Don’t be that guy.”
- The Facebook Police – These are the people who berate others for inappropriate posts, or simply comment “Facebook,” insinuating the post should only be on Facebook and not LinkedIn. No one likes a party-pooper – if a post is truly inappropriate, report it.
- The Complete Stranger – These users try to add connections seemingly at random.
- The Selfie Queen – Let’s face it; you’re not fooling anyone by captioning your (often provocative) selfie with an inspiring quote or recap of a recent career success. You wouldn’t pull that out in an interview.
- The Social Spammer – We don’t need to see your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts ALSO on LinkedIn. Post appropriately on each channel.
- The Creep – They comment inappropriately on photos or posts. Again, if you wouldn’t say it in the workplace, don’t say it on LinkedIn. http://www.ledgent.com/about-us/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/edit-profile-19.png/li>
- The Narcissist – The person who likes their own post. Of course, you like it – you wrote it!
- The Troll – We’ve seen this guy on just about every social media platform. They disagree with every post and aren’t shy about saying so – and usually not in a respectful manner. It’s okay to introduce differing ideas, but it’s not okay to start an argument. If an exchange of ideas gets heated, know when to tap out.
- The “Guru” – “HR Guru” and “Recruitment Ninja” are not real titles. Just be yourself!
- The Philosopher – These users are always liking and sharing quotes. There’s nothing wrong with a few quotes every once in a while, but you should be focused on sharing your ideas.
- The Over-Sharer – They share their professional stories, but weave in way too many intimate details.
Once you have filled in your profile, you are ready to hunt for a job. Head to the top menu bar and click on Jobs.
Here, you can search for jobs of any kind, anywhere.
Each job posting will have its own requirements and its own application process.
In this section, you can let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities – without anyone at your current organization seeing. LinkedIn’s new Open Candidates feature privately signals to other employers that you are interested.
On the Jobs tab, click on Career Interests.
Then you can fill out their guided form. Your “Note to recruiters” should read like a cover letter, speaking to your skills and showing genuine interest. Add any and all job titles you are interested in and qualified for. You should also list locations you are willing to work in, including specific cities or entire areas (such as “Greater Los Angeles Area”). You can even specify whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time, internships, remote, freelance, or contract positions.
Recruiters will then have the opportunity to reach out to you. However, this does not mean that you should sit back and relax. Continue to search and apply for jobs.
Should I go Premium?
If you’re looking for work, a premium membership might be beneficial. Premium memberships allow you to:
- Reach out to recruiters or job posters with InMail credits
- See who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days and how they found you
- Move to the top of recruiters’ applicant lists
- See how you compare to other candidates
- Gain access to online video courses
- See salary details when browsing jobs without sharing your personal data
There is a one-month free trial you can take advantage of, but monthly payments start at $25.
It’s important that you stay active on LinkedIn even when you are not looking for a job. While 70% of Facebook users engage daily, only 13% of LinkedIn users do the same (Pew Research). Make sure you’re not only active when you need something. Recommend other and endorse their skills, assure you have a symbiotic relationship with your connections.
Comment, like, and post even when you are happily employed. Engage with your employer and boast your current work and other workplace events. Share company content and don’t be shy about your accomplishments. LinkedIn is not just for job searching. It’s primarily an online network for professionals to share expertise, get inspired, and build your professional credibility.
Roth is passionate about helping you in your job search. You have the smarts, experience, and passion to catch the eye of a top employer – use Roth Staffing and LinkedIn to make sure you get there.
Most people spend more time on Facebook and Twitter, and they post more often on these sites. Facebook and Twitter might not be directly linked to your career, but they can still impact your job prospects. Check out this infographic for some Twitter tips!
When you think of online job searching, you probably think about sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. These are specifically designed to help you build a professional profile and connect with great companies. Nevertheless, they probably aren’t the biggest component of your online presence.
Most people spend more time on Facebook and Twitter, and they post more often on these sites. Facebook and Twitter might not be directly linked to your career, but they can still impact your job prospects.
Seventy-three percent of recruiters use Facebook to research candidates, and 53% will check your Twitter. With 50% of recruiters planning on increasing their social media budgets, this number can only be expected to grow. Even if you’re not actively using Twitter to job search, your profile can help or harm your chances. What recruiters find may color their opinion of you.
Don’t let your Twitter turn into a disadvantage. Check out what you can do to make yourself into the perfect job candidate!
(Hint: We also have a handy-dandy Facebook guide for job seekers.)
1. Privacy: Decide what you want from your Twitter
Twitter allows you to make your account either public or private. Public accounts will be wholly visible to recruiters (and your supervisor after you’re hired). On a private account, however, only your followers can see your tweets and you have to approve any new followers before they can access your content.
To make your account private, click on your profile picture in the top right corner and select “Settings and privacy.” Under “Privacy and safety” check off the box that says, “Protect your Tweets.” Scroll to the bottom of the page and save your changes.
While you’re on this page, you might want to double check your other privacy settings. It’s always a good idea to review them once in a while!
If you decide to keep your profile public, consider deleting any content that might estrange recruiters. This includes polarizing political or religious views, posts promoting alcohol, guns, or drugs, and comments/jokes that could be considered offensive.
Since Twitter is a free tool, you also have the option of keeping two accounts: one private account and one public account where you share posts related to your career. A professional account builds up your personal brand and gives you a competitive edge over other candidates. It’s also a great way to network!
2. The Twitter Handle
On Twitter, followers see your handle all the time. It appears on all of your tweets and retweets, which means people will come to strongly associate it with you. You might not want to be known as @GlitterUnicorn5000. There’s nothing wrong with glitter unicorns, but it’s not very professional.
Avoid handles that are suggestive, polarizing, overly silly, contain curse words, or include your birth year.
As a general rule, the best handles are variants of your name. If your name is taken (with over 300 million users, most names already are), try including a middle initial, an underscore, a location, or a profession.
For example, @BobSmith is probably taken, but good viable options include:
You can easily change your handle on an existing account. Simply click on your profile picture in the top right corner and select “Settings and privacy.” Under Account, your handle or username is the first option that appears on the page.
3. Name & Profile Picture
Your Twitter name is the name displayed on your main profile. Unlike handles, these don’t have to be unique. There can be a hundred Bob Smiths, and that’s fine, so choose the name you want recruiters to see, which should probably be your first and last name.
Right over your name, you’ll see your profile picture. Your Twitter picture doesn’t have to be as formal as your LinkedIn picture. No business casual or professional photographer required! Nevertheless, a good picture will still help build a credible online presence.
In fact, if you’re going to keep your account strictly professional, you might still want to consider pictures where you’re wearing business professional attire. Throw on a blazer and snap a couple of shots in good lighting!
Even on personal accounts, you should avoid profile pictures that might alienate recruiters. Don’t pose with alcohol, guns, or drugs. Make sure you’re not wearing items that promote political parties. Aim to find a good quality picture where you’re warm, welcoming, and approachable.
The Twitter Bio is a snapshot of who you are. Unlike LinkedIn, you shouldn’t summarize your entire resume. In fact, with Twitter’s character limit, you wouldn’t get very far anyhow. Keep your bio short and sweet.
A good professional bio states your field, any major accomplishments, and what topics you’re going to be posting about. Humor is fine, but unfortunately hard to do. When in doubt, keep it simple.
To edit your bio, click on “Edit Profile.” You’ll be able to type your new bio right into the text box.
If you think you need more space to cover your accomplishments, make the most out of the link feature. Twitter provides a space specifically allotted to a link. It can be to your website, LinkedIn, or blog (assuming it is a professional blog, and not about your summer road trip visiting famous taco stands in every state).
Sure, Twitter is great for looking at memes and sharing jokes, but it can also be a powerful networking tool. Twitter is great for interacting with people and brands. It can help you meet others in your field and research interesting companies. To get the most out of Twitter as a job seeker, follow organizations, recruiters, job board websites, and influential leaders.
Find people who have succeeded in your field. If you’re a woman in tech, you can follow people such as Sara J. Chipps, founder of the nonprofit Girl Develop It, and Rachael King, technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal. If you’re in publishing, you can follow your favorite literary magazines. Don’t be afraid to engage people in conversation. Twitter is supposed to be interactive. That’s what it’s for!
Tweet any sage advice you have for others in your field. Share articles on industry news and trends.
In order to keep your Twitter alive and vibrant, consider sharing:
- News, articles, and innovations that are relevant to your field
- Tips, tricks, and wisdom from your professional experience
- Retweets from industry leaders and innovators
- Interesting stats about your field
- Personal accomplishments
- Major accomplishments in the company you’re working for
It’s also good to know what not to share. Reconsider posts such as:
- Drunk photos from the office holiday party
- Tweets where you speak negatively of your current or past employer
- Tweets where you speak negatively of your coworkers
- Jokes or quips that could be considered offensive (it doesn’t matter how funny you find it, if it could be offensive to someone, it’s better not to post it)
It’s worth noting that, according to CareerBuilder, out of employers who have rejected a candidate based on social media, 27 percent said it was because the candidate had poor communication skills. A few minutes double-checking the grammar and spelling of your post can save you a whole lot of embarrassment down the road.
There’s no denying the fact that social media has become a central part of our lives. For better or for worse, it’s now also a key part of the job search. Your online presence may be the first glimpse recruiters see of your personality. How you portray yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn matters.
While it’s unlikely that recruiters will reject you for having no online presence, it might give you a disadvantage over other candidates. Recruiters can subconsciously lean towards people they’ve seen online, sharing work news and accomplishments. Having a strong professional presence gives you a competitive edge and it might make all the difference when applying for your dream job.
If you create a strong personal brand online, it won’t just help you land a job now; it’ll provide opportunities throughout your career.
At Roth Staffing we’re committed to helping you in your job search. Check out our Facebook and LinkedIn guides to learn how to fully harness the power of social media!
It’s this new thing called Facebook – ever heard of it? Boasting two billion members, Facebook has become a staple in everyday social life. As the social world expands into the professional world, it’s time to use this social tool to boost your professional life.
While LinkedIn is a more logical choice for professional involvement, Facebook boasts nearly 5 times as many members as LinkedIn, and a higher engagement rate: 70% of Facebook users engage daily vs. only 13% of LinkedIn users (Pew Research). With more members and more frequent use, more opportunities are available. Amongst people who found their current job through a social network, 78% attributed their job to Facebook, while 40% cited assistance from LinkedIn (Jobvite).
Facebook can be a vital tool, not only in your job search, but also in building and strengthening current professional relationships.
However, the tactics required for Facebook professional success differ from casual social use. Check out our recommendations for preparing your profile, expanding your Facebook use in a job search, and maintaining use in your professional life.
Prepare: Are you ready?
It is against Ledgent’s policy for our own hiring managers to make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s Facebook profile. Correspondingly, we have no social media requirements or expectations for candidates or our Ambassadors. However, it’s possible other organizations might not adhere to the same standard. The information displayed online is simply too tempting. Hiring managers, more likely than not, will check your Facebook. According to Careerbuilder, 70% of recruiters will use social networking sites to research candidates.
The good news is that most recruiters aren’t looking for the “bad stuff”: 61% are looking for information supporting your qualifications, while only 24% are looking for disqualifying behavior (Careerbuilder).
Another source reports more than 40% have reconsidered a candidate based on what they found, and as many as 69% of recruiters say that they have rejected a candidate based on their findings.
Even though a study by the Journal of Management found there was no link between social media and professional behavior, and that recruiter predictions based on social media are often wrong, humans – hiring managers included – cannot always separate judgments logically. What’s on your social media does not define you, but it can influence how hiring managers see you.
The good news is that your Facebook page can also display you in a positive light as well, helping hiring managers can get a more dimensional view of you as a candidate, including potential culture fit.
You need to be prepared for potential employers to look you up, to utilize your current connections, and to reach out to other professionals.
Disclaimer: These are only recommendations for using Facebook for professional use. There are no requirements on your social media behavior. The tips listed are only intended to be helpful, if you choose to use Facebook as a tool.
When it comes to Facebook, you can choose how much or how little the public can see. As always, it’s usually best to make your profile completely private. But if you want to be found, you can customize your privacy settings.
You can control who “sees your stuff,” who can contact you, and who can look you up – you can even prevent search engines from linking to your profile. This can help prevent recruiters’ wandering eyes.
No matter your privacy settings, it’s best to clean up your profile. If this process feels too daunting, consider employing a squeaky-clean scrubbing app like Scrubber or Clear to make controversial content disappear.
People can see your profile picture, even if your profile is private. Since this is Facebook, the photo can be more casual than your LinkedIn photo – but it should be a nice photo.
Consider your clothing, background, and other people included in the photo. Double-check your tagged photos and ensure all photos you make visible and add in the future are appropriate.
In your About section, you can customize any and all information you advertise. Your About section includes your work and education, places you lived, contact and other basic information.
Your work and education will be the most important features in your job search, make sure those details are accurate and up to date.
To access your About section, go to your profile and click About.
When others click on your About section, they can also see your:
- Latest photos and videos
- Places you “checked-in”
- Pages you’ve liked
- Events you’ve attended
- Groups you are a part of (even if they are “closed groups”)
- And other preferences
These can help build a more well-rounded picture of you as a candidate. But they can also reveal things that you may not bring up in an interview.
Be aware that the pages, groups, and places you’ve been may make recruiters uncomfortable.
Education and Work History
This is pretty self-explanatory, and can be found in the “Work and Education” section, under the “About” tab. Keep this up to date and accurate.
Posting & Liking Habits
When outsiders look at your profile, they can see your status updates, dating as far back as the day you joined Facebook.
According to the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016, recruiters site these as disqualifiers:
- Typos – 72%
- Marijuana – 71%
- Oversharing – 60%
- Alcohol – 47%
- Selfies – 18%
Meanwhile, Careerbuilder states the following as disqualifiers:
- Provocative or Inappropriate Content – 39%
- Alcohol and Drugs – 38%
- Bigoted Content (Race, Religion, Gender, etc.) – 32%
- Bad-mouthing Previous Company – 30%
- Poor Communication Skills – 27%
Note: there are ways to prevent individual connections and the public from seeing certain posts – see our Friends section for details.
Unless you specifically select your audience, all the articles you share and thoughts you express are made available. Again, the rule should be: if I wouldn’t share it in an interview, I probably shouldn’t post it publicly.
Keep these in mind with future posts and when sifting through past posts. Practice good grammar and spelling, and post things that you are proud of, including your accomplishments and activities. Go crazy when it comes to posting, liking, and commenting on professional and industry related topics and pages.
Careerbuilder cites these as the social media information that WILL get you hired:
- Information Supporting Qualifications – 44%
- Professional Image – 44%
- Evidence Personality Fits Company Culture – 43%
- Wide Range of Interests – 40%
- Great Communication Skills – 36%
Tips from Within
Victoria Hayes and Valerie Killeen make up the Social Media team at Roth Staffing Companies (parent company of Ledgent). With experience in social media management and public relations, they are Facebook pros. Check out their tips on getting the most out of Facebook:
“Making sure your profile is appropriate for any professional contacts doesn’t mean ONLY posting professional content, or having a professional headshot as your profile picture—people expect your Facebook to be more laidback than your LinkedIn, and sometimes, pictures of your puppy even attract the most engagement!” says Victoria.
She continues, “However, you may want to think twice before posting photos of your beer bonging last weekend or whining about your latest break-up. Stay away from posting anything that could be construed as discriminatory in anyway. Clean up your act by un-tagging any inappropriate photos, deleting rude or distasteful comments from friends, and un-joining any groups that may not necessarily scream, I’m a professional adult, hire me!”
Outside eyes can also see what your friends post on your timeline. In your privacy settings, you can turn on a setting that allows you to personally approve every post that comes from third parties.
Before you look to expand your Friends list, look to your current Friends – they can serve as connections or referrals, they can even be checking you out!
Don’t be afraid to lurk on your current Friends’ pages to find out what industries they are in or what jobs they might have. If you are interested in getting involved in their industry or organization, maintain an active relationship with them. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for their advice or opinions on changes in the industry. Some may find it off-putting if someone they don’t really know randomly asks them for a job, but most are happy to reconnect and give a helping hand.
If there is anyone in particular you want to impress or if you have posts only intended for a certain audience, you can organize your friends into categories. Go to the menu on the left of your Facebook homepage and select “Friends List.” Categorize your friends to your heart’s desire, particularly setting apart professional connections.
Then when you post, you can select your audience. This can allow you to freely post anything from the 6 B’s!
When you click to update your status, look to the lower right hand corner, and click the drop down arrow. Scroll down to more options, click custom, and there you can customize who you want to share with and/or who you don’t want to share with.
Expand: Utilizing your Facebook for a Job Search
Now that your profile is ready for professional interaction, here are a few tips to expand your usage to help you find new opportunities.
Valerie recommends beginning with marketing yourself:
“Once you’ve cleaned-up your profile, let your network know that you’re looking for new opportunities… Your friends and family will be apt to help, making recommendations and introductions, and, at the very least, cheering you on! Share periodic updates, to keep your job quest at the top of their feed (and at the top of their mind)
Pro-Tip: If you’re currently employed and searching confidentially, ensure you’re not sharing these status updates with current coworkers.”
Networking and Alumni Groups
A simple search on Facebook can lead you to a variety of networking and alumni groups. They are likely to post about different job opportunities, and are great places for you to ask about job opportunities. Forge connections with others in the groups, post relevant articles, and pose questions. It is very important to follow the B’s in these groups.
“Like” Company Pages
Companies often post about job openings or internship opportunities on their social media pages—be sure you’re following any companies you especially like to stay in the know. Take it one step further by engaging with their posts.
“As someone who has managed brand pages, it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed when one person consistently comments on or likes the company’s content,” says Victoria. “With this being said, go beyond the obvious like ‘nice’ or ‘love it’ and make sure your comments are thoughtful and worth reading.”
A knowledge of an organization’s happenings will definitely come in handy during your interview processes. Not only will they recognize your name, but you will have an up to date understanding of the organization and can provide better insight.
Friends & Liking Habits
As you increase your professional connections on Facebook, be wary of your online behavior. While you can filter who sees your posts, there isn’t a way to filter your liking or commenting activity. In their personal newsfeeds, your friends and connections can see everything you like and comment on. Again, if you regularly like and comment on things that fall within the 6 B’s, it might be best to have a fully private profile.
Maintain: Using Facebook in the Workplace
Once you’re hired, your online presence will maintain importance. We don’t recommend checking Facebook at work, but Facebook can be a powerful tool in making and strengthening workplace friendships.
Strong social relationships play a significant role in workplace engagement, and online involvement plays a role in this era of social relationships.
Those with a best friend at work tend to be more focused, more passionate, more productive, and more loyal to their organizations. Facebook can help build those friendships.
Note: You are allowed to reserve Facebook only for yourself, and not utilize it at all in your job search or workplace relationships. If that is the case, it is still a good idea to put your profile on private. It might also be a good idea to let your coworkers know that it is nothing personal, just a preference. Then put forward extra effort in the workplace, like going to lunch or after work Happy Hour.
Engage with their posts and photos (without being inappropriate), and you will soon find that you are learning more about them.
Continue the same practices utilized in preparation and expansion
- Maintain a work-friendly profile
- Categorize your friend groups
- Be wary of posting, commenting, and liking habits
Facebook is more than something to stare at when bored. It can be a powerful tool that can change your professional life – for better or worse. Proactively protect yourself, make a career change, or strengthen your workplace relationships.