How To Use Social Media to Help Your Career
Social media can be an integral part of your job search or career building—if you use it correctly. If you don’t, even information you consider private like a photo posted on Facebook or a random comment on Twitter, could cost you your job and unexpectedly damage your career.
Discover how you can use social media to boost your career. Plus, get tips on what not to do on social media so you don’t inadvertently damage your reputation or credibility as a candidate with your posts, photos, or likes.
How Social Media Can Help Your Career
Social job searching involves using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for job searching. Social media is used by both job seekers who are looking for employment opportunities, and companies looking to hire.
Hiring managers and recruiters use social media to source candidates, to post jobs, and to accept job applications. Social media job searching sites can help hiring managers to get a clearer sense of potential employees and their backgrounds before they have even interacted. Social media makes it easy for recruiters to understand you better: your likes, dislikes, and how you might fit within the company.
Plus, social media sites are often an informal route to finding out about job opportunities. People in your network may share details of job opportunities before they’re even posted on the company website.
How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
Follow these strategies to harness the power of social media for your job search.
Invest time in building your social network. You’ll want to have a strong foundation in place even before you try using social media sites within your job search. You should be prepared to be found on social media, whether it is a recruiter viewing your profile or an employer who you reached out to first.
Pick a platform (or two). Social media can eat up a lot of time, and not always productively. Rather than creating a presence on all platforms, therefore, consider focusingon just one or two.
Select which social media sites to use based on your industry — for instance, if you work in a visual field, Instagram may make sense, whereas marketers may find Twitter a better time investment. Nearly everyone, in every field, will benefit from having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile.
Keep your profile up to date. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is comprehensively completed with your most recent employment information, and take responsibility for keeping it up to date. Being proactive when it comes to social media can position you so you are prepared to job search at any time — when you need to find a job or when you’re are looking for a change.
Ensure your social profiles are work-appropriate if they are public. It’s common for employers to Google candidates, so make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other social account don’t contain anything that could hinder you from getting a job.
It’s very important to consider your online presence, as more and more employers have been expanding their hiring procedures to incorporate social networking sites.
Stay active online. Talk to your connections on Twitter or the other networking sites. Join Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, post and join the discussion. Be engaged and proactive in your communications.
Using Facebook in Your Career
Facebook used to be a place primarily for sharing photos and details from your day. But these days, Facebook offers plenty of opportunities for job searchers. Some ways to use Facebook in your job search include:
- Joining relevant Facebook Groups
- Sharing that you’re looking for opportunities
- Searching for jobs on the Facebook Jobs board
Using Twitter in Your Career
Twitter is a valuable tool for keeping in touch with your network and finding job opportunities. Here are a few ways to use Twitter to further your career:
- Develop and promote your professional brand by posting about your industry and promoting your own work
- Connect with others — follow the big names in your industry as well as relevant publications
- Search for jobs and connect with recruiters.
What Not to Do on Social Media
Social networking sites are a great way to connect with others, stay in touch with your network, and find out about job opportunities. But your behavior and posts on these networks also have the potential to do damage to your reputation or make you appear like an unsuitable candidate to employers. Here’s what not to do on social platforms:
- Share inappropriate photos or content: If your profile photos showcases you chugging a beer, you may want to reconsider. Same goes for angry or obscene language in posts. Even on personal accounts, do not post sexist, racist, or bigoted comments.
- Go negative about your company: If you complain about your current boss or colleagues, recruiters will wonder if you’ll do the same if hired by their company. You should also avoid posting confidential company information.