How To Use Social Media To Advance Your Career

3 min read

26 September 2011,

Social Media

How To Use Social Media To Advance Your Career

For many, social media is just a tool to use for fun; to catch up with former acquaintances, to post amusing videos and to announce to the world new and well thought out procrastinations. If used correctly, however, social media can be used to help on a professional level as well as a personal one. Correctly optimising social media can attract headhunters and also open up previously unknown opportunities – not all jobs are advertised in public forums and many career climbing options are offered as opposed to sought. As technology evolves so does the job market and, as such, so should the job seeker. Here are a few different ways to position one’s self using social media to advance a career.

 

Blogging and building relationships

One of the easiest and fastest ways to becoming established as an authoritative voice in any field is to start and maintain a blog relating to a specific industry. This can attract people working within this specific industry to your site and can, dependent on the intended career choice, act as an online portfolio. A graphic designer can display and comment on their work and a budding writing can use a blog as a showcase for their skills. From here it is possible to open communication with individuals in the same field and oftentimes headhunters, recruiters and individuals looking for freelance workers will find people and offer opportunities to them through their online presence.

Twitter

Twitter is an important tool in job hunting as it has revolutionised the way individuals can interact. It is possible to get very easy open access towards industry leaders in no time at all and it is possible to quickly reach out to them with short messages. If an industry leader makes a comment on a certain topic to do with their field it is possible to quickly reply with your own thoughts and build a relationship this way. From here interaction can potentially grow and, with successful networking, new opportunities may arise. Twitter is also a good place to ask questions regarding to uncertainties individual’s may have regarding their industry and, occasionally, jobs become available and advertised exclusively on Twitter.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is perhaps the most obvious social media site to use in attempts at career advancement and has been described as “Facebook for professionals”. In a lot of ways it is actually the opposite of Facebook – whereas Facebook is made up primarily of informal holiday photos and whimsical status updates, LinkedIn is all about business. As such it is important to optimise LinkedIn profiles as much as possible; it is one of the main places recruitment agencies and headhunters will look when attempting to fill empty vacancies and completed, optimised profiles are more likely to appeal than half-finished jobs.

It is worth making sure a detailed job history is on-line – a bare bones history of employment can make you look like a rookie so include more than just current roles. Similarly make sure a photo is added – recruiters are up to seven times more likely to study a profile with a profile picture than one without.  One of the most important parts of the site, however, is the “skills” section. These keywords can help headhunters find potential candidates with ease and so it is important this section is filled in as accurately and as completely as possible.

Social Media Footprint

When using social media it is important to make sure a professional image is constantly projected; it is possible for a potential employee to simply Google your name and find out about you in this way. So never use social media to insult current place of work;  be careful to share more positive thoughts about your career or they may come back to haunt you.