Social Media – Sleeping With The Enemy
LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOU TUBE, INSTAGRAM.
(One by one…we need to take ’em down.)
Most Baby Boomers have mastered enough social media to make a dinner reservation and to google search for just who…originally…wrote “Do You Love Me.”
But when we realize that the humans in a company’s Human Resources department can only be reached AFTER we’ve scored big with our online application form….well, it just knocks us for a digital loop.
And when we hear that if we do one thing that is not in the modern application rules (which we have never seen) that our application will never make it to a human at all. For example, it is no longer acceptable to put two spaces after each sentence. Did you know that? I certainly didn’t. A thing like that ought to be on billboards. But fine, we’ll learn the rules, and we’ll share them with each other. So there!
Baby Boomers have a reputation for being technology resistant. This is one of the biggest hurdles we have to get over. Although that’s not true for all of us, it needs to stop being true for any of us. We also have a reputation for being competitive, for rising to challenges, and for adapting to whatever is thrown at us. So we need to take this technology bull by the horns and brand it with “BABY BOOMER.”
LinkedIn Guides, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, & Twitter represent some of the tools of a modern job search. 70% of all Recruiters look at a candidates LinkedIn Page before requesting an interview. SO START THERE.
If you google “how to set up a LinkedIn page” you’re likely to get dozens, maybe even hundreds of tips, some good and some confusing, some that will charge money to do it for you, and many that overcomplicate the process completely. In this, and in many other things, AARP is one of your best friends. Browse the AARP website for a little down-home advice about this valuable social media source so that you will be more comfortable with the process. Then pour yourself a tall cup of coffee (or a beer), make a sandwich, and camp out in front of your computer to just push through the process. Punch up “LinkedIn” on your computer and it will walk you through the set-up phase. Really, it will. Plan on a few hours, remember that it does no good at all to swear at your computer or at LinkedIn. Also remember that you are the boss. AND BY THE WAY – YOU CAN CHANGE ANYTHING ON LINKEDIN, over and over and over and over. So just dig in without fear.
Suggestions from many sources:
PHOTO – Your photo should be smiling, showing teeth (if they look good) and absolutely not looking goofy. Clothes should be professional or appropriate to the job you seek. A casual photo and background are considered just as effective as a professional shot.
SUMMARY – Your “summary” at the top of your LinkedIn page should be comprehensive, but not include dates. Rather it should include specific accomplishments and overall successes. Such as,” Thirty years of experience in coordinating interstellar travel, including design of the star bridge to the Orion Nebula.” 🙂
SKILLS – LIST YOUR PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTIES FIRST – even if you don’t consider them to be…skills. For example, I listed “Management” and then – because I paid for one of the “extra” features – when I applied for a job I saw that I didn’t compare well to other candidates whose skills included “CRM” – Customer Relations Management, Account Management, Staff Management, and more. You have room for many, many skills. So don’t fail to include “proficiency in writing and reading in English.” There is a severe shortage of this skill among today’s young workers, as well as: professionalism, strong work ethics, and adaptability. Recruiters are crying for the need of these “soft skills” – search engines will grab those words, so use them! Near the end of the list, go on and include any skills such as Microsoft Word, Web Site updating, Excel, Power Point, Data Entry, Bookkeeping, Budget management, welding, bicycle repair, knitting, surfing…who knows? There might be a surfing, knitting, CEO in need of a sales manager who is proficient in English and you’ll be that person’s dream candidate.
THE EXTRAS – There is a particularly good tool that will show you how you stack up against other candidates in a job search. It’s $29.99 per month, after a free one month trial. I suggest you consider this later, but NOT right away. Spend some time tweaking your page first…like practicing your golf swing before signing up for a tournament.
FACEBOOK – This social media site is purely social. Most people’s FB page is full of pet photos, family, sports, movies, and food. It is not important to spend much time worrying about your FB page – unless it is borderline obscene, highly political, or demonstrates that you are not the person you promote yourself as being on LinkedIn. Recruiters claim that they do look at the Facebook Page of leading candidates, to see if they are a good “culture and social fit” to the company.
Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter – I don’t have a clue as to why these are considered important, but, hey – I’m just getting started at all of this, too. So as soon as I find out why we need to bother, I’ll get back to you.
See upcoming postings about how to use all of these to your advantage.