Social Media: The Ultimate Career Booster

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boost your career with social media

If you aren’t using social media networking to get ahead, you are a step behind everyone else

If you’re like many people, you probably use your social media accounts every day—and maybe more times than you care to admit! If you’re already spending all that time online, why not put your social media accounts to good use for your career goals? Taking advantage of social media networking could be a great—and relatively easy—way to make new industry contacts and connect with job opportunities that could potentially take your career to the next level.

So whether you’re currently looking for a new position or you’re simply interested in enhancing your career, it may be time to make use of everything that social media has to offer—and you’ve come to the right place to learn how! Follow these steps to boost your career with social media.

Right now, you’ve probably got a long list of contacts who have no idea you’re interested in new job opportunities. It’s time to let them know you’re on the hunt—and what types of positions you’re looking for. Referrals are still one of the better ways to get your foot in the door. Even if your connections don’t know of current openings, if they’re aware that you’re looking, they may think of you when the time is right and new opportunities are available. So, put the word out!

2. Choose your platforms

You may be tempted to concentrate only on the “big-gun” platforms: LinkedIn, X, and Facebook. LinkedIn, in particular, IS considered by many to be an important career tool that should not be overlooked. But there are hundreds of social media platforms out there, and some might be particularly applicable to the field you are in or wish to pursue. For example, those in the visual arts could use platforms like Instagram, Behance, Pinterest, or Tumblr. Software developers might check out Stack Overflow or Find Nerd.

3. Update or delete old profiles

While you may regularly use some of the platforms you have profiles on, there could be others you haven’t used much or have even forgotten that you had. So, make a list of all the platforms you appear on. Decide whether there are any you want to delete entirely. If you find any you want to keep but wouldn’t want potential employers to see, consider deactivating them while you are job hunting. For the rest, use the tips that follow to update your profile for maximum impact.

boost your career with social media

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4. Create a compelling profile

When it comes to social media and your career, one of the more important things you could do is make sure your profiles are engaging and professional—particularly with LinkedIn. That means you should detail your job history to illustrate your experience (but don’t go back more than 20 years) and make sure your list of job-related skills is up-to-date. You should also consider reaching out to former co-workers and bosses for online endorsements that help build your creditability. And, as your math teacher used to say, show your work! Wherever possible, include samples of your work, whether that’s a link to your online portfolio or to other content related to your career accomplishments.

5. Build your own personal brand

It’s a good idea to make sure your name and photo are consistent across all your social media profiles. That way, whenever potential employers come into contact with your accounts, you could be more easily recognizable. You should also create a short—but catchy—bio that you could include across all platforms to tell people who you are and what you do. If possible, include keywords related to your industry, as that may make it more likely that you come up in search results for recruiters.

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6. Follow companies in your field

Social media networking is probably part of your everyday life, so make sure you’re doing it with companies you’re interested in working for! When you follow companies in your industry—whether on X, LinkedIn, or Facebook—you’ll likely be notified about open positions, company news, and other relevant info. You may also get the opportunity to interact with major players—particularly if you re-tweet or share their posts—and get them to follow you as well. What’s not to like about creating relationships with the right people, without having to meet with them directly?!

7. Engage in industry discussions

Search out and participate in X, Facebook, and other chats involving your field—or the industry you’re aspiring to move into. By joining in on the conversation, you could give yourself the chance to highlight your knowledge and skills, keep up-to-date on industry trends, and make contacts that could help connect you with job opportunities. When it comes to LinkedIn, you might also join professional groups or organizations in your areas of interest to gain an automatic “in” on the discussion.

8. Be a resource for your contacts

Position yourself as a resource—and a thought leader—by answering questions, helping others make connections through introductions, and sharing content that is insightful and applicable to your industry. People appreciate interacting with contacts who give rather than just take. If you provide value to your connections, they may be more likely to think of you when openings arise.

9. Showcase your personality

It’s always important to keep things professional on your social media accounts—particularly with LinkedIn—but that doesn’t mean you can’t show some personality! Potential employers are always looking for people who seem like they’d be a good fit for their team, and that includes having a likeable personality. So, as long as they are appropriate, feel free to share articles, videos, or memes that reflect your hobbies, interests, or other aspects of your personal life. Show that you’re real—and fun—to make yourself more appealing to hiring managers who browse your profile.

10. Monitor and update your profiles

Creating an impactful profile isn’t a one-time thing. Keep your profiles and content updated to reflect the evolution of your skills, goals, and achievements, showcasing your continuous growth and development. Also make sure your profile is “up with the times.” (For example, imagine a web developer or other IT professional referring to “Twitter” in their profile—big faux pas!) You should also regularly assess your progress and results by using tools and analytics to gauge your reach, engagement, and overall impact. Evaluate what strategies prove effective and identify areas for improvement. Solicit feedback from your network to gain valuable insights, learning from both your mistakes and successes.

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to use social media for job search purposes, it’s time to think about other steps you might take to help improve your career prospects. A great first step may be to return to school to earn your degree—and you could even do it online! Enhancing your education could help you build your qualifications in your field, which may make you more appealing to potential employers.

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