If you aren’t using social media networking to get ahead, you are a step behind everyone else.
If you’re like most people, you probably use your social media accounts every day – and maybe more times than you care to admit! If you’re already spending all that time online, why not put your social media accounts to good use for your career goals? Taking advantage of social media networking is a great—and relatively easy—way to make new industry contacts, and connect with job opportunities to that may possibly take your career to the next level. So whether you’re currently looking for a new position, or you’re simply interested in enhancing your career, it may be time to make use of everything that social media has to offer. And, if you need tips on creating your LinkedIn social media strategy or using your Facebook and Twitter accounts in your job search, you’ve come to the right place.
Follow these steps to boosting your career with Social media
1. Alert others to your job search
Right now, you’ve probably got a long list of contacts, who have no idea that you’re interested in new job opportunities. It’s time to let them know you’re on the hunt—including the types of positions you’re looking for. Referrals are still one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. Even if your connections don’t know of current openings, if they’re aware that you’re looking, they may think of you when the time is right and new opportunities are available. So put the word out!
2. Create a compelling profile
When it comes to social media and your career, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that your profiles are engaging and professional—particularly with LinkedIn. That means you should detail your job history to illustrate your experience (but don’t go back more than 20 years) and make sure your list of job-related skills is up-to-date. You should also consider reaching out to former co-workers and bosses for online endorsements that help build your creditability. And, as your math teacher used to say, show your work! Wherever possible, include samples to your work, whether that’s a link to your online portfolio or to other content related to your career accomplishments.
3. Build your own personal brand
It’s a good idea to make sure your name and photo are consistent across all of your social media profiles. That way, whenever potential employers come into contact with your accounts, you will be more easily recognizable. You should also create a short—but catchy—bio that you can include across all platforms to tell people who you are and what you do. If possible, include keywords related to your industry, as that may make it more likely that you will come up in search results for recruiters.
4. Follow companies in your field
Social media networking is probably part of your everyday life, so make sure you’re doing it with companies that you’re interested in working for! When you follow companies in your industry—whether on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook—you’ll likely be notified about open positions, company news and other relevant info. You may also get the opportunity to interact with major players—particularly if you re-tweet or share their posts—and get them to follow you as well. What’s not to like about creating relationships with the right people, without having to meet with them directly!
5. Engage in industry discussions
Search out and take part in Twitter or Facebook chats that involve your field—or the industry that you’re aspiring to move in to. By joining in on the conversation, you’ll give yourself the chance to highlight your knowledge and expertise, keep up-to-date on industry trends, and make contacts that could help connect you with job opportunities. When it comes to LinkedIn, you can also join professional groups or organizations in your areas to interest to gain an automatic in on the discussion.
6. Be a resource for your contacts
Position yourself as a resource—and a thought leader—on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn by answering questions, helping others make connections through introductions, and sharing content that is insightful and applicable to your industry. People appreciate interacting with contacts who give, rather than just take. If you provide value to your connections, they will be more likely to think of you when openings arise.
7. Showcase your personality
It’s always important to keep things professional on your social media accounts—particularly with LinkedIn—but that doesn’t mean you can’t show some personality! Potential employers are always looking for people who seem like they’d be a good fit for their team, and that includes having a likeable personality. So as long as they are appropriate, feel free to share articles, videos or memes that reflect your hobbies, interests or other aspects of your personal life. Show that you’re real—and that you’re fun—to make yourself more appealing to hiring managers who browse your profile.
Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to use social media for job search purposes, it’s time to think about other steps you can take to help improve your career prospects. A great first step is to return to school to earn your degree—and you can even do it online! Enhancing your education will help you build your qualifications in your field, which may possibly make you more appealing to potential employers.