The Importance of a Consistent Message in Your Social Job Search
It is hard to know your own mind when you are exploring the myriad of possible options for your next career move, but as so much of your job will be conducted in the public domain of social media, it is important that you at least give the impression that you have pre-meditated plan.
If you are changing your LinkedIn profile as often as you change your socks, you will convey the opposite message.
While it is absolutely appropriate to tailor a CV for each prospective employer, in my view, social media profiles are different.
There might be a period of 4-6 weeks from initial contact to final interview with any given hiring company, and during that time you can be sure that multiple people will check you out on social media on a regular basis. How you present yourself on LinkedIn (to take the most common example) will be taken as a reflection of your mind.
If your profile is changing every day or two, what are people supposed to think?
Will you be equally indecisive when you are making decisions for them?
This is where an element of sacrifice comes in.
Of course, I am sure that you would love your LinkedIn profile to reflect your very latest thinking on your job search, but unless you have wildly changed direction, I would suggest coming up with the very best profile that covers a broad amount of bases.
You haven’t got the space to be too specific, and if you are omitting various parts of your wider experience, then certain left-field opportunities may not come along at all.
In my view a LinkedIn profile (and summary) should offer an appetiser into what you are all about, but if those 300-350 words on your LinkedIn summary are constantly changing, how would someone have confidence in you if you don’t even know your own mind.
The same goes for LinkedIn headlines – find a powerful message and stick with it.
Now, this is not to say that there is no room for creativity or subtlety on social.
Very few candidates use the opportunity to write personal blogs on LinkedIn. These blogs stay at the top of your profile and will certainly be read by any serious employer. While a profile should be relatively consistent, you can write about whatever you like in these blogs, thus creating an extra dimension to your value proposition.
I am currently really busy ghostwriting blogs for candidates on an individual and outplacement basis – job seekers understand that they need to take every possible opportunity to communicate their value.
The subtlety of your application will have plenty of chance to unfold at the various interview stages. There you can explore different aspects of your experience and how you might be uniquely suited to the opportunity.
Employers understand that your basic social profile cannot (and won’t) be hyper-targeted for their specific role, but if you try to be everything to all men you will likely be nothing to no one.
Carefully think through your social persona before you start your job search – don’t just make it up as you go along. Trust me, people will notice, and it isn’t a good look.