Date published 1st July 2020
By the time you arrive at university, you are likely to already have a digital presence. You probably have social media accounts that you use to express yourself and communicate with friends; you may even have a website, especially if you blog or have created an online portfolio for your art or photography.
Once you start to look for a job, you can use this presence to make you stand out as a candidate — it could even be the extra ingredient in your application that helps you stand out from other candidates. Here are a few tips on how to market yourself digitally.
Social media can be a little bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to making a good impression on a potential employer. Firstly, you want to ensure anyone looking at your profile sees the very best side of you, so you need to be sure about the image you are projecting.
Consider having two separate accounts, and making one private. You can use this for your personal posting and interactions with friends; the second you can create around your interests and any projects or passions you may have.
You can use your bio to make a statement about who you are and what you care about, follow and engage with accounts that you admire, and connect with people who share your interests/inspire you. You may even come across opportunities through platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn which may not be available through more traditional job-seeking channels.
Networking can include big events at conference centres and shaking hands with a lot of people but, now more than ever, a huge amount of networking is happening in the digital space. If setting up social media accounts is the part of your digital marketing campaign where you establish your brand, then networking is the active part where you really get your product out there.
LinkedIn is built for this kind of networking. It helps you make connections with people you might never meet in real life and who can be invaluable in your job search, or in finding out more about the industry you want to work in. An excellent way to make the most of the platform is to post or write articles about your professional interests and you may be amazed at the people willing to engage with you.
You should also ensure your LinkedIn profile is completely up to date with all your experience and your qualifications. Your bio should be well written and free from any grammatical errors — a future employer may spot a typo and think you lack attention to detail, so make sure everything is one hundred percent correct.
Once you have laid the groundwork with your social media presence, and your networking efforts, it is always good to be able to direct people to a digital space that is designed by and dedicated to you. Having your own website may sound complicated but, thanks to tools like Wix and Squarespace, you can build one quite simply.
Your website can be a place to display any previous work, to write blogs on subjects related to the industry you want to work in or be a place to pursue a passion – all are valuable and show a potential employer that you are engaged and driven.
At the end of the day, making a CV or cover letter stand out from the pack can be a challenge. Going the extra mile by using social media, reaching out on networking sites and/or building your own digital portfolio or space, could make all the difference.