It’s time that we all accepted that social media is not just for young people and celebrities. Companies and professionals of all ages and backgrounds now use the various forms of social media, to improve their opportunities. From the major social media brands to the small niche communities, social media can seriously improve your professional profile and further your career.
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a job or not, or even what kind of career you are in, social media will help to expand your social reach further than your immediate circle. Being active on social media networks could increase future career opportunities.
If you’re a social media novice, take a look below to find out which social media networks you should be on and why.
LinkedIn is the social media platform designed for professionals and companies. LinkedIn is a valuable tool for jobseekers and employed alike, with a recruitment feature, company profiles, discussion boards and news feeds, on top of the standard social networking space.
Having a complete LinkedIn profile and building your connections is very important. Make sure you correctly fill in your previous work experience, what skills you have, and include a clear header which will show up under your name in searches. Remember: the more connections you have, the more your profile will show up to prospective employers or clients.
Nowadays, when recruiters and head-hunters search for your name on LinkedIn and you don’t appear, this can seriously damage your prospects. Equally damaging can be having a profile with an inappropriate photo or false information.
LinkedIn friend etiquette isn’t the same as Facebook. Add your old boss; add a client you have done work for; and add your best friend’s dad, who might just work in a really famous company that you’d love to work for. Build up your connections and see what opportunities open up for you.
Twitter is one of the harder social media platforms to get used to, with hashtags, retweets and short posts that anyone can see. People use Twitter for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s posting about what you bought in the supermarket that day or sharing an interesting link with your followers. Twitter is more informal than LinkedIn and is often used purely as a social tool; however, companies have also adapted Twitter’s services to meet their own agendas.
On Twitter, you can follow companies that interest you, to start a dialogue with them or check for any job vacancies that they post. More and more companies and recruitment agencies are using Twitter as a recruitment service, posting their job openings and contact details, soon after the job comes available.
For media, PR, marketing and digital professionals, it’s important that you have an understanding of Twitter’s commercial uses and know how to use it. If you’re going for a digital job and you have to explain to a prospective employer that you don’t understand it, that won’t look good at all (#awkward). So get used to hashtags, retweets and conveying messages in under 140 characters, because Twitter is most definitely here to stay.
Facebook is huge. Over the last few years, the huge social networking site has taken the world by storm and changed the way that people interact with each other and with companies. Many companies and organisations now have Facebook pages, used to promote their services, interact with their customers and clients and attract more people.
Nowadays, Facebook pages are also used to advertise job vacancies and training schemes, so it is a useful job-hunting tool.
However, Facebook can blur the lines between personal and professional, so it is important to keep your privacy settings high and refrain from posting inappropriate material about yourself or your views.
Other Social Media Networks
Aside from those three obvious social networks, there are many more small social media brands that are growing in importance.
For designers, artists and other digital and creative professionals, Pinterest is an important tool to have. Pinterest allows people to be creative, by sharing photography, recipes, fashion, interiors or any other interests on their own virtual ‘pin-board’. If you have Pinterest, why not create a CV Board with pins of your previous company logos or examples of your work? If you’re looking for a creative job, be creative with your job hunt.
Other social media networks to familiarise yourself with are Google+, YouTube, and Instagram. They may not be relevant to all professions, but it’s much better if you keep up with the growing social trends.