While most people around the world have been using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and the like for fun, communication, and relationship-building over the years, it’s important not to forget just how useful the networks can also be for your career, whether you’re actively searching for a new position right now or not.
In fact, the various online platforms where people go to share data, exchange ideas, make comments, and meet new connections can be the ideal place for you to increase your network of contacts and raise your professional profile. In turn, this can help you to land an exciting new role when you need to (or even when you least expect it), or to expand your customer base for your own venture.
To make your profiles more effective though, you will first need to make sure that your information is as complete as possible and always up to date, with full descriptions and quality, professional photographs used at all times. You must maintain a professional manner on each site (no pictures of you looking drunk or taking part in illegal or otherwise frowned-upon activities!) and you need to be careful about only ever posting accurate, truthful information.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career today, read on for three handy ways in which you can take advantage of social media.
One of the first things you should start doing if you want to boost your career is network online. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are fantastic for this, and will help you to “meet,” and develop connections with, other professionals in your industry.
To do this well, it is important to firstly ensure you have put up a comprehensive profile on LinkedIn, as this is one of the most popular and beneficial social networking spots for people who want to find a new job or make good contacts.
On the site, you need to post your resume in an online format. It must not only be accurate and up-to-date, but also well written and properly formatted. As such, it pays to organize a resume evaluation service to check out your information so that you can be sure that you’re not making any mistakes.
Your LinkedIn profile should include things such as:
- Your relevant skills and achievements
- Recommendations from people you have worked with or consulted to in the past
- A business-appropriate photograph of yourself (no social pics here!)
- Some relevant examples of your work where possible
- Keywords that relate to your industry and job area
Once you have all the necessary info posted online, it’s time to start working on building more connections. There are multiple ways to do this. It is a good idea to post regular updates about your career successes, new skills you’ve gained, training you’ve completed, events you’ve attended, or any other relevant news that will help to generate interest in your profile.
As well, make sure you join some of the LinkedIn groups which are relevant to your position or sector. Once this is done, take part in online discussions whenever you feel you can add a unique view on the topic or some useful information. This will help you to chat and engage with potential and current contacts and to develop relationships further.
Build Your Brand
Next, keep in mind that, no matter the industry you’re in, it is always a good idea to work hard on building your brand. Branding is not just for businesses, as many people think, but rather is also important for individuals too.
Most social media sites, but particularly Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, are fantastic avenues to help people promote themselves by consistently demonstrating their brand. The updates you post online and the profiles you set up for yourself can go a long way to create an image that will help to stand you in good stead throughout your career.
Recruiters, employers, and clients typically check out social media sites when conducting research, and can use the information they see to determine if you will be a good fit for a company or position.
On your online profiles, make sure that you are always consistent when it comes to branding elements such as the images, logos, font, and language you use. This will help you to develop your own particular “voice” that can set you apart from your competition. The image and summary details that you put on one social media platform should be used across them all, so that your style becomes easily and quickly identified and gives people an accurate idea of who you are and what you represent.
You can also further your brand by using social media sites to become an industry expert. Your posts are the perfect platform for promoting your skills, knowledge, and experience, as well as a variety of content that you write or collate, such as blog posts and articles, quotes, infographics, e-books, pictures, and the like. By regularly posting information that helps others in your industry and demonstrates your expertise, you will see your standing as an industry expert rise.