Social Media is playing an increasingly large part in searching for jobs, particularly when you’re pursuing a career in the tech industry. We would strongly recommend to anyone looking to secure their first role in the technology space to use social media to their advantage! So many prospective employers are active across these platforms and are relying on them more and more to find the best talent. Use these 6 top tips to get ahead of your competition and give yourself the best chance of kickstarting a tech career:
1. Create a Personal Brand
First things first, you need to establish a social presence and ensure you are consistent with online content. Many people believe that social media is only useful for documenting your personal life and what makes you tick, but you can use just about any of these platforms to showcase your skills and experiences too. Of course, it’s no secret that prospective employers will have a look over your social profiles before interviewing you, so any public content you share must portray you in an appropriate manner!
In some cases, it may be worthwhile setting up separate accounts for professional purposes i.e. on Twitter or Instagram. The content you then post to these accounts should always be relevant to the role(s) you are pursuing. Identify your area of expertise and keep your posts in line with this so that when prospective employers land on your profile they can see from the outset where your passions lie.
2. Perfect your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the biggest professional online network, so make the most of it! Your profile must demonstrate your experience and abilities without the need for explanation, so be sure to include everything relevant whether it be academic or commercial. Recruiters and hiring managers will be interested in the technologies/languages you are familiar with, the projects you have worked on and your key achievements. Think of LinkedIn as your virtual CV. It’s probably the first thing prospective employers will check out online so it must reflect your expertise in a true light. It’s also wise to use a professional profile picture for this reason!
LinkedIn is also a great resource for finding recruiters and hiring managers relevant to the tech industry (or any industry for that matter). It’s easy to send an introductory connection request, but try to be innovative with what you say. Put together a message that will differentiate you from other candidates and warrant a response.
3. Be active on Twitter
Twitter is a popular platform within the tech community. There are plenty of tech companies, hiring managers and recruiters active on there, meaning it can be a really useful tool for engagement. It may be a good idea to set up a professional / career-driven Twitter account separate from your account, this will allow you to reach out to users of interest without the risk of them seeing something on your profile that may deem you unprofessional. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to run a professional tech-focused account, check out @paulienuh, @Dr_Black and @DanEnglishby for some tips.
There are also plenty of accounts on Twitter set up to act as job boards. A few within the tech space include @TechCareersUK, @GJ_Tech, and @TechJobsWales. You could also try searching relevant hashtags (e.g. #TechJobs) to track down opportunities that way.
4. Engage on Instagram
Not only is Instagram a great place to build and establish your brand, but it also demonstrates that you are digital savvy and keep up-to-date with tech trends. Like Twitter, you are probably going to want to create a separate professional account. You should then make sure your content is in line with your expertise and the jobs that you are going after. If your skills lie within the creative side of the tech industry, you could use your Instagram profile to share snapshots of graphics or websites that you’ve created.
Once you’re set up on Instagram, actively engage with tech companies local to you i.e. Software Houses, Solutions Providers, Tech Consultancies. Follow their accounts, like their posts and comment to make yourself known! If you are engaging with prospective employers in innovative ways, like on Instagram, you can then mention it in an interview to show a real interest in the company.
5. Build an Online Portfolio
The best way to demonstrate your technical abilities is to create and utilise an online portfolio. This is especially important if you’re looking for a Front End Developer or Designer type role, but is equally beneficial to those who are more back-end focused. If you can provide examples of code to back up an already strong CV, you are going to massively increase your chances of securing an interview. The most popular platforms among tech professionals are GitHub and Stack Overflow. Alternatively, you could compile your website with links to project examples and showcase it through your typical social media platforms.
6. Get to Grips with Slack
Slack is widely used in the tech community and can give you access to a whole world of opportunities that you may not find on other social platforms. There are 100s of Slack channels encompassing a huge variety of tech skills and UK locations. Join channels relevant to what you want to specialise in and introduce yourself, then actively participate in conversations. Most Slack channels have job-related sub-channels within them, where recruiters and hiring managers can post opportunities. Check these regularly to ensure you don’t miss out on anything that could be suitable!
Be explicit in terms of your skill set and the type of role you’re looking for when you are engaging on Slack, then make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in contact with you. You may want to add your email address or contact number in your bio so that you are easily reachable.
These are just 6 simple ways to enhance your job search and use social media platforms to secure your first career in the tech industry. Remember, the key thing is to engage regularly and relevantly – whether this be through posting your content, liking and sharing other tech-related content or making comments and sending messages. The way social media works for job seekers is constantly evolving, so do your best to keep on top of trends and adapt accordingly!