The creative industry has seen an exciting uptick in hiring and seems to only be strengthening. With job prospects becoming brighter, that means many professionals are now branching out and looking for new opportunities—which means more competition for each job seeker out there. So how can one stand out from the competition when trying to catch the attention of a top employer?
According to Stephen Federowicz, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Creative & Digital division, the answer lies in your social media presence. The creative field is heavily rooted in the internet, and as a result, those looking for a job within that field should also have a strong foothold online. In fact, Business Insider recently ran an article about the ad agency Deutsch’s new practice of hiring “internet kids”—or, in other words, turning to unusual sources such as Reddit and Instagram for unnoticed talent.
“I always advise my candidates to make sure that they are utilizing their social media platforms, and the internet in general, as best they can,” he says. “It isn’t enough just to have a Twitter or a Facebook—those networks have to accurately reflect the candidate’s interests and talent.” For example, it would raise red flags if an art director’s Instagram looked plain and indiscernible from the profile of someone outside the profession, or if a copy writer’s blog was infrequently updated or riddled with grammatical errors.
Just having the “obvious” social media accounts is also restrictive: everyone has a Facebook and a LinkedIn these days, but clients are looking for creative candidates who not only utilize these platforms, but also expand into other areas such as Instagram, blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, and others.
“One of the first things I do when considering a candidate is review their social media profiles,” says Stephen. “I want to make sure the people I’m sending to our clients are invested in their work and involved in the industry, and a creative person’s online presence gives great insight into who they are and what they can do.”
Designers, for example, can present their portfolio on Instagram—but just doing this isn’t enough, as your work may as well not be on display at all if nobody can find it. To make sure it’s found, it’s crucial to link up all your accounts so that all your social media profiles link to one another, giving employers a comprehensive view of your online presence.
This is increasingly important in 2016, in which employers and candidates alike are putting more emphasis on cultural fit. Building a consistent brand on the internet is an excellent way to show companies what kind of fit you’ll be within their organization. As a bonus, this can also help ensure that only companies you’d be a good fit for will reach out to you, thus optimizing your chances of meeting with employers you’d likely enjoy working for.