Social Media Man Resizing His Profile PictureRecently, LinkedIn reported the top 10 words overused by recruiters and chances are you could guess at least one of them.

Top 5:






Is this because all recruiters are looking for similarly responsible applicants? Probably. Or is it because there are only so many words that one can apply to that patiently qualified lead? Maybe. Whatever the excuse, the harsh truth is that you might be boring your leads right off of your social network, career page, microsite, or wherever you are trying to reach applicants.

Whether you’re a recruiter, HR pro or simply a professional who is open to new opportunities, your profile needs to be in tiptop shape. Overusing the same words will stunt conversation like a boring party guest.

Social media is a great place for recruiters to not only meet up with interested candidates, but also build a solid understanding of employer brand. Of the now 150+ million users, nearly 77 percent say they use LinkedIn to learn more about a company and interestingly enough, by the end of next year, Twitter is expected to reach two million job postings per month. averages 2.4 million listings. So, while it’s an overwhelming one, the world of social media can still be a profitable avenue to reach your audience.

With such a large potential impact, you need to ensure that you’re social assets and updates are compelling, relevant and NOT boring. If you fear that your social and career pages are dull (shh…we won’t tell), let’s look at some easy ways to spruce it up a bit.

  1. Make your profile pic as awesome as you are.

Just having a picture can make your profile seven times more likely to show up in search results, so if you don’t have a photo at all, get one! And if your company owns a blog, having an active Google+ account with a profile picture will give you Google Authorship: a picture next to your link in Google’s search results, furthering your appeal on the page. Plus, people want to do business with someone they can see and not having a profile can engender distrust. For example, our CEO of Red Branch Media, Maren Hogan, won’t connect with anyone on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook unless they have a profile picture.

Now, if you’ve got the profile picture down, make sure you’re updating it with current photos of you being your professional and pleasant self. Try not to change it more than every few months so that you’re becoming a familiar face. Did you know, when you make an update on social media, your family, friends and networks are notified, making you the top of mind. Powerful, huh? Here’s some quick profile pic tips.

  • Smile! People want to work with someone who is happy.
  • Look at the camera! It builds a connection with your viewer. OR you can look to the left, where your content will be placed, driving viewers to look at your wonderfully written personality.
  • Make it all about you! Your kids and pets are adorable and we’re happy you have them, but a future client or applicant needs to see you.
  • No logos…BUT you can bring your brand to the mind of your viewers through the colors in your clothes or background. You can even have your photo taken in your office or with a relevant prop. (For example, photographer with his or her camera.)

2.  A motivating summary.

Remember first impressions are always big and oh so hard to change, so make sure this part of any profile is no longer than 250 words (if that since Twitter only allows 160 characters). LinkedIn’s blog suggests telling your story in a personable light sans the blah buzzwords. It’s no longer enough to let your experience speak for itself. Be your own brand ambassador with a well-written and interesting online presence.

And don’t forget a call to action!

  • Twitter: Put hashtags in your bio to reach a broader audience
  • Facebook: You can now add skills to your Facebook page! All you have to do is click “About” in your profile and click edit under your “Work and Education” field. The skills you add are even searchable!
  • LinkedIn: Create an awesome headline that you can change up. This part of your profile is actually for more than just your position and employer. For example, one recruiter described himself as a “Head honcho, headhunter, sometime head-shrinker and living proof that the only good recruiter is NOT a dead recruiter!”

3.  Images with personality.

One thing that books, newspapers and magazines have in common with social media and internet searches are that we like the pictures they feature. What a traditional periodical can’t do that a website can is provide the means to give your pictures movement. If you or your company is doing something wonderful that can be documented in a short online video, record it!

Even if you’re not quick to pull out your camera phone, you can still give your page visitors something nice to look at that provides some insight into what type of person or company you are. For example, Red Branch Media posted a fun Holiday Guide to Selfies that displayed the B2B marketing company’s staff while also highlighting the amusing environment where they all work.

4.  Think about the audience.

This is a “duh,” but sometimes a little too easily overlooked. Are you looking for creative and forward thinking individuals? Then your posts, should have graphics and headlines that appeal to your target. For example, we do a Trivia Thursday at my company. Each question is accompanied by an image and the chance to give followers a pat on the back. Follow it up with your contact information, newsletter sign up or special offer and you’ve created a clear call to action, giving the opportunity to engage with your profile visitors/future leads.

Social media isn’t going anywhere, so understanding all that it has to offer your personal and employer brand is pivotal. If you’ve been the owner of a boring profile, spice it up and get the interest a personality like yours deserves.

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