It’s pretty common knowledge by now that prospective employers check your social media profiles to see if you are suitable for the job. There is a fine line between demonstrating your personality and taking it too far.
When we have applicants for the Zoox Experience Programme, we want to make sure they are fun and adventurous people who can handle life (and work) in a developing country, but are willing to get stuck into some serious grass-roots conservation work. So yeah, we Google/Facebook you. Most of you have your privacy settings on full whack. Brilliant. I like to try and keep personal updates personal too. But the longer I’m working in this sector, the more passionate people I meet and connect with, and the line between work and play on my own social media is blurred.
But like with most things in life, there are silver linings to be had. Your online presence can demonstrate your professional interests and strengths. Here are a few things to consider when reviewing your social media profiles before applying for a job (because you totally do this right?)
How current is your information?
You wouldn’t send off your CV or Resume without your latest employment details, or successes achieved. So keep your searchable information coherent between your paperwork and online presence. Update that LinkedIn profile, put your job title in your Facebook profile, write your career goals in your Twitter description. Even when you have full privacy settings, there is some basic information that can be seen. It may seem small and trivial, but the devil is in the details. It’s a way for your future employer to ground-truth what you’re saying in your application.
Plus, if it comes down to you and another candidate who shows better communications and social media skills, who would you choose for the job?
Who do you ‘like’?
Consider what pages and profiles you like – whether it be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. These are usually public. Show that you keep up to date by following the main organisations working in the conservation field you’re applying to. Get on board with the relevant international conventions that influence your field.
This shows your grasp of the bigger picture of your field. We know how insanely complicated these international conventions can get, and how many intimidating acronyms there are but the more you expose yourself to the terminology the more it will make sense, and the more you will understand how these organisations and conventions fit together, so why not get a head start on your peers?
Don’t know where to start? Our Twitter account has useful lists of accounts related to our modules. Check it out here.
What do you share?
Your posts are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge of the sector and highlight the successes in your career. Consider posting the following:
- News related to your work (or potential work/ employers objectives)
- YOUR successes – attending this meeting, collaborating with that NGO, doing that presentation, sharing the articles/ blogs you write.
- Your opinions – again this is a point where you need to consider that fine line. Expletive thoughts about the Japanese whaling industry may be deemed unprofessional but highlighting the important steps you think certain players in that sector are taking demonstrate your understanding of the process.
- Are you making use of relevant hashtags and tagging? These are now basic social media skills which is one of the pillars of modern day communications. Show your future employer that you are competent in these skills, and they aren’t going to have to train you up from scratch!
*Acronym hell? Our Global Marine Conservation module will help you crack the code!
The Zoox modules cover a wide range of topics in the marine conservation sector including a mini-module on online tools. You can join these modules on the Zoox Experience Programme or the SCUBA Diving and Conservation Course.