Do This, Not That on Your Social Profile

By Josephine Kagika
HR Business Partner, Methodist Richardson Medical Center

Feeling pretty comfortable with your profile on your social media sites? Maybe it’s time to revisit your profile and review it through the eyes of a potential employer.

What should you do to make your profile more attractive to recruiters? What should you avoid to make sure your profile isn’t the victim of a recruiter’s delete button?

For health care professionals it’s especially important to be specific about your experiece and accomplishments. Rather than saying, “great computer experience,” be specific with phrases like, “proficiency in Meditech, or PACS,” or whatever technology is appropriate for your area of specialization.

Tailor your profile to the specific job for which you are applying. If I’m looking for a recruiter, I want to see key words such as onboarding, new hire reporting, time to fill, time to hire, applicant tracking systems, and more.

I counsel prospective employees to pay special attention to their LinkedIn profiles. Considered to be a more professional site, I find it very useful to look at job history and recommendations when reviewing applicants.

LinkedIn recently analyzed the profiles of its 135 million users and compiled a list of the 10 most overused words. These words are so commonly used, they’ve lost some of their meaning by generalizing skills resulting in descriptions that describe anyone and everything. Your goal as an applicant is to differentiate yourself, your experience, and your skills.

In a news release from the company announcing its 2011 findings, LinkedIn’s connection director, Nicole Williams, suggests using language that illustrates your unique professional accomplishments and experience. “Give concrete examples of results you’ve achieved whenever possible and reference attributes that are specific to you.”

Here is LinkedIn’s 2011 list of the most frequently used terms in LinkedIn profiles which you should avoid using:

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Extensive experience
  • Track record
  • Motivated
  • Innovative
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Dynamic

Instead, take the opportunity to factually brag about your specific experience and accomplishments rather than resorting to trite, overused words. This will provide you an advantage in your job search.

If you’re a Facebook fanatic and your page contains lots of personal posts and photos, be sure your security settings limit who has access to the information. Also, never post negative comments about your current or past employers. Most recruiters see these as red flags that result in automatic disqualification and could result in dismissal from your current job.

In summary, here are five tips for making your profile recruiter-friendly:

  • Tailor your resume to fit the job for which you are applying. Use key words that connect your experience and skills to that job.
  • Design your resume in an easy-to-read, one- or two-page format.
  • Communicate your key strengths.
  • Highlight the positions you’ve held that best match the position for which you are applying.
  • Don’t spend more time on your cover letter than your actual resume. Often, cover letters are set aside. As a recruiter, I’m interested in the facts that demonstrate you are qualified for the position.

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Posted Social, Career Advancement