How Social Media Can Help You Get Ahead
For many, it’s like this. The second you wake up you scroll through your Facebook feed. You update your Twitter and hashtag your boring journey to work, and then celebrate home time by uploading a photograph of your dinner on Instagram. Sounds familiar? This could be the make or break of your career progression so use your social media wisely.
According to recent statistics, 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. With new social media websites popping up all the time and such a high number of overall users, it is safe to say these digital platforms are here to stay.
Social media can take hours away from your day without you even realising, so why not turn this potential time waster into a valuable tool for getting ahead in your career and make yourself more employable?
Remember that social media can potentially destroy your career as quickly as it can build it, so always keep in mind that what you post in the public domain is for the entire world to see! I was recently attended an Executive HR Conference and one of the presenters asked the audience if they checked job applicant social profiles before the interview or job offer stage – over 75% of the audience raised their hands.
Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, shared his tips for finding a job using social networking sites on Forbes.com
Here is what he suggests you do to utilise your social media platforms…
Create Relevant Profiles
Build compelling, professional profiles for yourself that include your job history, going back no more than 15 to 20 years. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others, are also sites where you can include this kind of information, Schepp says. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.
Connect with others in your industry. LinkedIn’s Groups are an excellent place to do this, Schepp says. Search the directory to find Groups in your industry, join those that appear especially active and vibrant, and then introduce yourself to the other members. Build your social capital by becoming known as a source for provocative content.
Schepp recommends that you follow companies in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you’re automatically notified about new hires, product developments, and other news. “Like” companies you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Facebook. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and value to a potential employer, he says.
Be Known As A Resource
Help others by answering questions, making introductions, and linking to provocative content, Schepp says. It’s very apparent if you have a one-sided “what’s in it for me?” mentality. People know to expect that sort of thing from you but if you regularly answer questions on LinkedIn and provide links to great content on Facebook and Twitter, you are again building that social capital. As a guide, try to give four times for every time you take.
Don’t Ask For A Job
Keep your name in front of people in a position to help your career. And no, even though you’re hidden behind a screen, you still shouldn’t ask people outright for a job. Make connections with the right people and let them see you are an intelligent, qualified candidate by updating your statuses several times a week, providing content to the groups you join, and tweeting about that interesting article you just read, Schepp suggests.
Search For Jobs
Turn over those virtual rocks to find job postings, Schepp says. Most people know about sites like Simply Hired, CareerBuilder, Monster or Indeed. They provide access to millions of job postings and are used by a proportionate number of job seekers. Improve the odds in your favor by looking for jobs on company Twitter feeds, on their Facebook pages, and in LinkedIn Groups.
Make A Plan
It’s also important to have a game plan in mind when you set out to use these sites as part of a job search. In other words, plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another, or following companies a third. The point is not to try and do too many disparate tasks all day, every day. You’ll waste too much time and not do anything as well as you could have if you were more organized and disciplined, Schepp says.