By Adam Gordon, Managing Director Social Media Search

The beginning of a new year traditionally marks the resurgence of the ‘War for Talent’ as companies fight it out to find the best employees. In order for job seekers to stand out amongst the army of contenders, “searchability” is rapidly becoming the secret to employment success.

Your online profile will be the first place that prospective employers will go to find out more about you. Having a relevant and engaging professional online profile is therefore essential. The majority of UK recruiters currently use social media to hire staff and more than half admit rejecting applications based on a candidate’s social media profile. For those seeking a job in the New Year, it’s therefore vital to utilise social media correctly to increase the chances of being found by recruiters.

Knowing which social media platforms to target is key to showing off your capabilities, however. If you are a writer or journalist, Twitter and blogging are vital, whilst Flickr and Instagram can help showcase the work of “creatives”. Likewise, if you are a designer, you should consider posting your portfolio as a visual CV on Pinterest, whereas Github and Stackoverflow are tailored for programmers.

Joining relevant communities will also boost the chances of engaging with potential employers. Join in conversations on Twitter and use hashtags (#) on your Tweets to boost your visibility. Sites like Meetup and Eventbrite list many local events that you can attend – and recruiters often search these sites for attendees as well.

In the UK alone, over 15 million people are members of LinkedIn and nearly 90 % of budget holders in FTSE100 companies have LinkedIn profiles. Of all the sites you can join, LinkedIn is the site that most companies will search to find you – and if they don’t do it themselves, they will often employ specialists to do so. Therefore, creating a compelling LinkedIn profile that represents you online can generate competitive advantage during the busiest time of year for job seeking.

Below are some tips on how you can help the right recruiters find you easily when the ‘War on Talent’ kicks off in the New Year:
• Make sure that the dates of employment and skills listed on your CV match your social media profiles.
• Create a compelling LinkedIn profile that really highlights your skills. A strong summary that tells your audience who you are and what drives you is instantly engaging, and much better than a summary of your day to day tasks and responsibilities.
• Make sure your LinkedIn profile is structured and contains keywords so that your target audience can find you easily. Be sure to include your job titles, as LinkedIn’s search function prioritises these.
• Join relevant LinkedIn Groups and build your network of contacts. The more you have, the more likely it is that prospective employers will come across your status updates and in their ‘People You May Know’ feed.
• Think about what content you are using to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, such as links to videos, white papers, and thought-leadership documents.
• Take a look at your prospective employers on LinkedIn, as they will often tell you exactly what they’re interested in. What groups are they in? What companies and influencers are they following? What are their interests outside work?

Once you have put yourself out there, you will find that people will want to know more. As a result, they’ll often reach out to make contact.
However, one word of warning: whilst these tips and tricks can be very helpful in your job search, it is important not to do everything that LinkedIn allows you to do. Otherwise important information may get lost within your own content and flurry of activity.