When you're searching for a job, you want to gain every possible advantage over the other candidates who are vying for the same position. Social proof gives you that advantage and puts your application materials in the interview pile. It shows employers you can back up what you say about your qualifications, interests and work ethic.
Your Social Media Network
You spent time creating your various social media networks, so use them as social proof that you're an employee who can get the job done. Use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to show your interest in the industry, participation in industry-related events and connections with others in your field. If you're a regular at industry events, post pictures of yourself attending them. If you regularly comment on blogs and read articles that will help you be a better employee, find a way to highlight those comments and what you've learned. Tweet parts of inspirational quotes, and be sure to keep your social media presence as positive as possible. You want to represent yourself in the best way. After all, companies don't want to hire people who are downers.
Your Application Materials
Your cover letter and resume can also be used to establish social proof. If you've had performance reviews in your previous positions, consider including positive statements about your abilities and skills from past supervisors in your application materials. Ask a manager or colleague for a statement about your excellent qualifications or specific accomplishments, and include that statement on your cover letter. Ask peers or supervisors for skill endorsements on LinkedIn, and include their objective statements about your abilities in your documents as well.
On your resume, give potential employers an idea of what hiring you might look like at their company. For social proof, detail your awards and achievements, and provide quantified statements that give actual numbers to describe your achievements. For example, if you work in sales, a statement such as "Increased sales in the clothing department by 15 percent in less than two months" gives employers concrete information about your previous accomplishments.
Consider compiling award certificates, letters of recommendation, thank you letters for your volunteer work, articles you've written or performance reviews as social proof. Scan these as PDFs that you can easily send as attachments, post on Facebook or add to an online portfolio on LinkedIn. For a LinkedIn portfolio, you can use content already online or files stored on a personal device.
What you have to say about yourself should not be discounted, but social proof can have an even stronger impact on hiring managers. Through your social media networks, resume, cover letter and portfolio, you can enable others to tell a story about you that makes employers want to know more.
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