Why Your Social Media Profiles Send Employers a Mixed Message
A strong brand message is not a concern exclusive to Starbucks and Nike. In a sense, job seekers are their own product. Companies need to believe the core message about a candidate’s abilities or job offers will not be forthcoming. One growing obstacle to that credibility comes from the very tools meant to increase a job seeker’s visibility: their professional social media profiles. Managing professional information across profiles requires a careful strategy, one that offers an honest representation without blandly retreading the same sales pitch.
Customization vs Consistency
The root problem is one of warring priorities. Every organization has its own unique values (universal vs niche skills, interpersonal intelligence vs technical mastery, formal education vs on-the-job adaptability) that put weight on different ends of the scale. Appealing to all positions in the same way ignores that distinctiveness and results in a more scattershot sales pitch. Yet the catch-22 is that too much customization makes professional social media profiles appear inconsistent.
A CareerBuilder survey finds that six out of ten companies reviewing candidates’ social media want to verify that candidates are qualified for the job. In addition to that, hiring managers and recruiters are processing the details through their own perspectives. Though at first thought, a large quantity of extra skills beyond the requirements seems appealing, some companies instead view the candidate as being more of a generalist than the specialist they wanted.
Moreover, loaded social profiles dilute the central message of any candidate’s sales pitch: that the company has found its perfect fit for an open position. Whether it’s a software provider looking for a project manager or a healthcare facility in search a nurse case manager, tailored resumes and social media profiles win the day. So, unloading an unabridged work history across profiles is not a safe bet.
What’s the answer? Creating separate social profiles for different alter-egos is impractical and excessive. Instead, strike the right balance. Resumes are malleable from position to position, while social profiles need to be a more generalized affirmation of technical skills. And the way to keep a common thread throughout them all is to pull from a consolidated source.
Keeping Professional Social Media Profiles Uniform
Beyond catering to different organizations, sometimes online social media profiles send a mixed message because candidates only have a vague sense of direction. Since resumes change from one role to the next, there is limited “big picture” continuity. For a strong core message to span across a candidate’s personal brand, that needs to change.
One way to do so is to create a career master list. All of the different elements that make up an effective LinkedIn profile, GitHub account, or other social media profile are gathered in one central reference point. That can include:
- Complete work history (both full-time and contract positions)
- A total list of technical and interpersonal skills
- All degrees and professional certifications (regardless of relevance)
- A comprehensive list of major accomplishments and projects
- A checklist of social media profiles
- Notes about where each detail is listed online
Length is not an issue. As a document for your eyes only, it should almost be encyclopedic. As new information is added to the dynamic list, the process of updating resumes and social profiles turns into a simple copy and paste job.
Uniformity comes through strong organization and tracking. By having a reference point for all information to check against, there are fewer opportunities for senseless mistakes (inconsistent employment dates, ROIs, etc.) or exclusion of the most compelling messages. In its simplest form, a document like this can be made in Google Drive or Word with notes showing where information is included at any moment.
Ensuring Employers Hear Your Core Message
Once a cohesive message is created, it’s important to make sure that it’s seen by the right people. Candidates are bombarded with messages from recruiters, but only a fraction of those offers understand and align with their career goals. When a recruiter willing to understand a candidate’s career objectives comes along, they’ll know exactly how to present the core message across those social profiles in a way that gets traction.
Want to send a strong message to your dream job? Contact one of our recruiters and we will find incredible roles that align with your needs.