Be careful what you wish for…
As a recruiter and executive search specialist, I spend a lot of time using social media to identify and communicate with potential candidates, whether directly or through networking groups. I’ve written before about cvs and the need for transparency and clarity, and this applies to anything you post as a profile on a social media as well.
Firstly, there is no point in telling fellow users on a social media service such as LinkedIn that you are interested in career opportunities and then posting a three line profile with no information. You will be overlooked in nearly every search a recruiter or potential employer conducts, because they have neither the time nor the inclination to contact you for further information. If you don’t provide detail and context, ideally backed up by endorsements and recommendations, recruiters will assume you are not really committed to looking for another role. So make the effort – it is a very poor advertisement if you apparently can’t be bothered to provide even the most basic level of detail.
Secondly, don’t broadcast that you are interested in new jobs if you don’t mean it. There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than approaching someone about a role only to have them tell their employer about the approach. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it!
Thirdly, and this is really important, don’t use your work account on e.g LinkedIn to create a ‘jobseeker’ profile unless you are very sure you are not breaching the company’s social media policy. If you list Career Opportunities amongst your reasons to be contacted, recruiters will read you as fair game and you will be contacted at some point. Employers take a dim view of this, understandably, so at the very least make sure you list a private e-mail address or create a separate account for private use.
Finally, when you get a message from a recruiter, take the trouble to reply; if you don’t, you will begin to gain a reputation and you may not get approached next time around. This is a networked world!
Social media can be a really effective tool for you, but it won’t happen in a vacuum; you must be proactive and prepared to make it work for you.