Social media use in the finance career hunt: top five tips
‘Cleanse’ your social media profiles
Okay, this sounds a bit sinister. But all it really means is to remove anything from your social media profiles that wouldn’t be appropriate as a young professional, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn or any of your own blogs… You should be the only person with access to your accounts—don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the odd profile hijack—even if it is just your mates mucking about!
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and think about what they’re looking for in their candidates. It’ll do your personal brand a favour!
Follow the right people
The people and organisations you follow on social networks are there for all to see—so make sure you’ve got some relevant industry specific follows. (Again, think of the brand and the image you want to portray).
It doesn’t mean you have to eradicate all joy and interests from your profile, though; finance firms want to hire interesting folk, so don’t quash your pastimes in sport, music, volunteering, baking, travel—whatever they may be—because it’s all part of what makes you an interesting potential candidate.
Make attempts to network
Don’t be afraid to try and connect with people you’ve met at networking events. LinkedIn is probably the most appropriate channel to do this as it’s a professional network.
If it’s someone you haven’t met in person before, such as someone who works in school leaver or graduate recruitment at a firm you’re interested in working for, try tailoring your message to them with your connection request explaining why you’re keen to connect. (Probably best to avoid something like: "I’d like to connect so that you’ll give me a job." It probably won’t get you very far!)
Once you’ve connected with some professionals in the field, don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out more about the industry. You’ll find that lots of people are actually very willing to provide help and advice to friendly and bright young people with a lot of potential and interest in their area of work.
What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t get a reply? This should be water off a duck’s back in the career hunt game. Perseverance will help you go far!
Don’t pretend to be an expert already!
Be truthful on your profiles, because one way another you’ll get caught out if you aren’t! There’s no point in pretending you’ve had experience in something if you really haven’t, so don’t try to get endorsements for a plethora of skills on LinkedIn that are exaggerations, or things you’ve actually had very minimal amounts of exposure to.
There are other more effective ways to talk about your experiences in things like risk management or investments thus far—for example, you could briefly describe your role in a project you worked on during an internship or insight week in the work experience section in the profile.
Don’t over-egg the pudding!
Keep your descriptions of your experiences succinct and to the point. Think about statistics and key points from work and activities you’ve done that your target potential employers would be interested to see and include them. Be sure to update this information regularly and keep your status updates ticking over regularly with thoughtful, sensible comments, such as on industry developments in the news. Perhaps you can try to instigate discussion on a recent relevant news story? Be engaged, yet restrained in what you put out onto the social media waves. Trolls and blabber mouths won’t get a look in!