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Online job applications are yesterday’s tools. It’s like fax machines. We use them if there is no other way to send a message. Today’s modern job search is about standing out, and not complying with old processes where you appear as one of the crowd.

To succeed, you have to disrupt the normal flow of internal job referrals, perform and get noticed showing social proof through your online presence, and offer value extending beyond a pay scale can measure.

Today’s job search requires a little disruption, and following the job application process is hard.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey, more than 60% of employers use social networking profiles to screen applicants. Employers will continue to use social media to screen applicants and candidates for years to come.

We can argue whether it’s legal or not despite recent laws passed in 20 states, but as long as a profile is public, so is the information a job seeker sets as “public.”

Whether you participate in online socialization or not, it’s a double-edged sword in having one or not. Those who have employer-friendly social profiles are leading or attracting hiring companies to take a look at their social profiles.

So, why aren’t you?

This is my contention: Employers can’t train great personalities, but they can hire them. It is likely more employers are vetting possible hires than hiring because of a profile. In either case, it’s significantly important to create an employable brand online.

An attractive employable brand will have a profile regardless of its brevity (Like Twitter), should have common elements:

  • A profile picture (similar pictures across different platforms
  • Customized URL with their name
  • Their featured career
  • A brief branding statement (depending on character amount allowed)
  • A small hint of personality

It makes sense to lead potential employers where you want them to look. I know it wasn’t long ago you were encouraged to keep profile pictures locked away.

If your personal branding efforts matter, you’ll want to lead your inquiring network and potential employers to these five social networks:

1. Linkedin

It is the most professional network on the planet although less than two-thirds of users participate more than twice a week. If you treat it like it is your website (although having your own is best), then the value of it will likely exceed your expectations.

The best use of LinkedIn is using all of the features possible including the blogging platform, increasing your network with quantity and quality contacts, and the potential for quality engagement.

2. Twitter

For those of you who think the current version of Snapchat is running Twitter out of town anytime soon, well, let me know how it works out for you. Twitter is a multi-media platform proven to be a real-time job application posting board without feeling like a posting board for savvy users. If you are putting forward your best brand, you can attract, network, research, and present all on one platform.

It is still the best networking tool a job seeker can use without the fences of LinkedIn or Facebook. Employers can see your body of work throughout time to vet and decide if your value is the embodiment of their mission.

Job application

3. Slideshare

Owned by LinkedIn, you’re probably not using it. But you should be. There’s not a profession or career track a PowerPoint presentation isn’t useful. If your career trajectory is clear, Slideshare can put more eyes on your presentation to attract your peers, colleagues, and potential employers.

Projects featured on your profile are most visible. Since your competition doesn’t use it, you will like to stand out and can do so even more by sharing it across other platforms.

4. Instagram Stories

By stealing Snapchat’s thunder, the one thing Instagram has is lots more employers who adopted the platform in its talent search strategy. The video feature previously existed, so adapting the short video – 24-hour lifespan was the perfect move for Instagram, and it’s present users.

For job seekers, it’s an opportunity to become comfortable in using video if you haven’t before.

Since many employers are screening applicants via Skype, the practice you can do on “Stories” can be invaluable. Another reason is to practice shorter sound bites to demonstrate effective communication abilities. Just remember, you must do it in 15-second sound bites, and it only lives 24-hours.

5. Facebook

Facebook can be powerful because of these three words: Facebook Graph Search. If you think like an employer, you can view your profile and your employability through a company’s lens. An active brand page can give you insight into its employees and company culture.

Oh, and we can’t forget Facebook Live where you can show personality and competency, too. These don’t disappear at all so make it count.

On the other hand, employers use Facebook to exclude than include you. Their mindset is necessary to adapt when you send updates, post pictures, or allow others to post on your wall. Most people don’t consider his or her privacy settings, especially with their ad preferences. You want to manage and stay vigilant of everything appearing on your page. Again, look at it from an employer’s point of view.

Using social networks is similar to team sports. You need to consider an offensive and defensive strategy with the understanding of optimizing your profiles to be career attractive. Your patterns and activity work best for your career as an extension of your resume and job application. Anything less is a missed opportunity.

Written By
Mark Anthony Dyson is "The Voice of Job Seekers." He is career consultant helping job seekers find jobs! His blog and podcast is found at TheVoiceofJobSeekers.com.

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