You think of it mostly as a way to waste some time goofing on strangers or sharing your favorite cat videos. But social media has become serious business. Used right, it can become a meaningful way to build a career, allowing you to widen your network and even land an individual job.
But how? How can you turn a simple pastime into a powerful career-development tool?
Here are some ways you can leverage your social media presence to land a job and spur your professional evolution:
The first step to any career development involves learning as much as you can about the market and the overall situation. Social media makes this easier. It grants you access to a deep well of information about industries and particular companies.
This dynamic makes social medial perfect for research. You can increase your general knowledge or learn more about a specific opportunity. When you find an open position that interests you, head to the firm’s social media feed. It will help you hone your pitch and form your opinion of the company.
Watch Your Content
It’s part of the Hippocratic oath that doctors have to take: first, do no harm. Just as in medicine, that should rank as the first rule for your social media feed.
Getting a job through social media is a relatively new trend. However, it’s old news that a few ill-advised tweets can lose one for you. Make sure that nothing on your feed will turn employers away.
Cultivate Your Image
Companies use their social media accounts as a marketing tool. They post so that they can build brand awareness and cultivate a particular image.
If you’re serious about using social media to land a job, you should treat the platforms the same way. Change the focus of your posting. Stop using it primarily to document meals you’ve had and argue about superhero movies with strangers online. Instead, use your feed to build your image and create a professional brand that will make prospective employers take notice.
Stay Easy to Find
Some Internet activities thrive on anonymity. Building a career isn’t one of them. Cultivating a killer online professional profile, doesn’t do much good if people can’t find you.
With that in mind, don’t make people work too hard to locate you. Potential employers should be able to find your relevant social media feeds through a simple Google search.
Have a Call to Action
Any good marketing professional will tell you that any content should culminate in a call to action. You want potential employers who like what they see in your social media feed to take the next step. Of course, the ultimate action you want them to take is to hire you. However, you might need to drop a few bread crumbs to get there.
The most obvious place is your LinkedIn account. If your other social media feeds funnel into LinkedIn, potential employers can learn all they need to know about your skills and background.
Networking provides the best way to build a long-term career. Any career advisor will tell you that. Social media opens up the possibilities for this strategy (they don’t call the movie about Facebook The Social Network for nothing).
Social media allows you to make industry contacts and to build relationships. It’s like a nitrous boost for your networking efforts.
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