How to catch employers' attention on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, according to 3 careers experts who do it themselves
- Twitter and Instagram are platforms for your career as much as your personal life.
- 3 experts share with Insider how to use them, compared with professional platform LinkedIn.
- “My Twitter bio is incredibly clear on who I am and what I value.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are not just about your personal activities: they can offer you huge exposure to employers, highlighting your career achievements.
While a resumé is tailored to a specific job application, social media can paint a wider picture of your life and work, giving “access to anyone to view at any time,” says career expert Helen Tupper.
Tupper is co-founder of the career development platform Amazing If. She has held leadership roles in companies such as Virgin and Microsoft, and has spoken at TedxLondon 2021 alongside her co-founder Sarah Davey, with whom she wrote “The Squiggly Career”, which topped the Sunday Times business bestsellers’ list.
Insider asked her, as well as entrepreneur and coach Janine Esbrand, who founded career guidance service Lightbox Coaching, and Jessica Ross, a copywriter with 10 years experience in digital marketing and recruitment, to share tips on writing stellar social media bios to highlight your career.
“This is a key platform for your career,” Tupper says, adding that you should have a clear and current “About” section that references your strengths and passions. Update this section every few months, she adds.
Next, Tupper says people should seek recommendations from their network to build credibility and proactively give recommendations to others.
“Be active on the platform. Create posts or write articles about areas you are passionate about and follow and engage with other people’s content on these topics too,” she says, stressing this can help build a brand and network beyond your immediate work sphere.
She adds that regularly sharing her own articles on LinkedIn has helped Tupper create an engaged community and “this community then helps to share my work with others.”
Esbrand says LikedIn headlines are prime real estate for a profile. “You should include the type of keywords your target reader would be searching for on LinkedIn, so that your profile can come up in search results,” she adds.
“On LinkedIn I was headhunted for my role as legal counsel at a start-up company. They were attracted to what I shared about coaching and professional development. I’ve had dozens of potential clients reach out to me after seeing my LinkedIn content.”
Ross says LinkedIn users should consider including not just their career history but any specific skills they’ve picked up elsewhere for their bio.
”You shouldn’t list every job you’ve had here,” she says. ”It’s important to have your core tone of voice in your bio. My own bio shares that I make a mean Pina Colada.”
Twitter bios are limited to just 160 characters, far shorter than LinkedIn.
As a result, you have to think more closely about the key things you want people to know about you. Tupper’s job role profile reads “Positive force for good (work)”, emphasizing her focus on helping people in their careers. “You can also use the banner image to communicate what’s important to you too,” she says.
What in particular has worked for her on Twitter? “Consistency (of Tweets). I share things that are connected to my focus on career development and I keep it professional rather than personal.”
Esbrand’s Twitter bio reads, “Helping mid-level female professionals change career direction and land dream roles l Career Coach l Executive Coach | TEDx Speaker.”
“I have found that my bio, which includes what I do and who I am passionate about helping, has led to people recommending me for opportunities they come across on Twitter,” she adds.
For Ross, it should be punchy to draw attention. “My Twitter bio is incredibly clear on who I am and what I value.” Hers reads: “Founder/Boss Lady. Freelance Marketer & Copywriter. Luxury Lifestyle Blogger. Gin Lover. Chocolate Aficionado. Band Obsessive.”
Instagram bios are a similar length to Twitter bios.
“It’s important to have consistency in what you’re saying about yourself on different platforms,” Tupper says. “Also think about whether there is an opportunity to link everyone back to a central point, for example, your Linkedin profile or your website.”
Tupper also advises creating different profiles for personal and professional purposes to help manage things. “My closed personal profile is for my family and friends and my open professional profile supports my career and personal brand,” she adds.
Esbrand says that when employers or clients consider hiring you, they may review your Instagram to get a feel for who you are outside work.
In your bio, “you should describe the type of content you share and give people insight into who you are as a person,” she says.
“I have been hired by clients who were attracted to me because they resonated with my values and perspectives that were illustrated in my Instagram bio.”
Ross recommends putting a call to action in your Instagram bio, encouraging people to click on your website.
“The link in my bio leads to a page linking my marketing consultancy website, apparel design company and Clubhouse (audio-chat) rooms,” she adds.
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