Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or another lesser known entity, almost everyone is on social media now. But while most people use social media for entertainment and maintaining connections, it can be used for much more. With the right approach, social media can help promote your personal brand and launch your career in ways you didn’t think possible.
Obviously social media is useful in connecting with others and while it’s great for that purpose, there is also a downside to being constantly connected in such a public way. Once you post something on any social media site, there is a chance that someone, somewhere may not like what you said. And what if that person just happens to be a possible future employer? It’s not only individuals on social media now—it’s businesses, too.
It is common (and smart) for business to use social media in order to promote their products and services as well as to create brand loyalty through fostering relationships with their customers and business leads. When using social media, business can also post job openings at their company and look for potential new employees. Therefore it is important to be aware of the possible negative outcomes of using social media when looking for a job. However, instead of avoiding social media in fear of these consequences, you should use social media in a positive way in order to promote your personal brand.
Many people believe the smart thing to do is to delete all social media accounts and posts when beginning the job search. Because then no one will be able to find you and things you’ve written before, right? Wrong. Once something is posted, it is out there for good. Even if you delete it, it’s not always taken out of cyber space and destroyed; yes, it may be slightly more difficult to find, but it’s not unfindable. The smart thing to do is to use social media to establish yourself, your experiences, and your potential and show possible employers want an asset you would be to their company.
Obviously, inappropriate posts can cost you a job you already have or one you are applying for. If you stick to the guidelines below, the likelihood of that occurring will be lessened. Instead of using social media in a risky way, you’ll be using it in a way that will make you attractive to employers.
1. Be professional and appropriate
- It is important to not post anything you wouldn’t talk about in a professional environment or say during an interview. Companies will peruse your social media accounts to see if you will be a good fit with their company and their company’s beliefs. If you’d feel uncomfortable discussing a topic with the CEO of a company you want to work for, you should refrain from posting about it on your social media accounts.
2. Share industry related content
- You should often share news that relates to your industry. It doesn’t have to be original content; if you see an article that you find interesting and relatable, share it. This will get you noticed by a broader audience and show that you are interested in and stay up-to-date on recent developments. Posting things that would spark interesting and beneficial conversations between you and your (possible) coworkers will not only show that your interests align with that of the company, but also that you would fit in well in the environment.
3. Share original content
- If you do have original content, such as a blog, portfolio or personal website that showcases industry relevant work, social media is the perfect outlet to distribute it. Not only will you be able to share your work with a broader audience but having this content will show your expertise and experience. This helps to establish yourself in the industry and show employers how you will be an asset to them.
4. Interact often
- Another way to expand your reach is by interacting with your followers and those who you follow; respond to posts they make, share their posts, or direct users to their accounts. This will show your interest and also your ability to work well with others.
5. Be mindful when sharing personal opinions
- You can use social media to express your opinions and beliefs, and in doing so you can raise awareness for beliefs, fundraisers, or events that may otherwise not get much notice. This is a great thing, however it is important to share these personal opinions and express ideas in a professional way and acknowledge that you are open to other ideas. This will help you to avoid offending people and show that you are accepting of those who may have different beliefs.
6. Think of social media as a job search engine
- You can search for jobs via keywords and then connect to possible employers through these searches. This will also broaden the range of companies you even knew existed, which will give you a much greater chance of finding a job perfect for you. You can also see what others in your field are doing for work. Instead of only looking for specific job title openings, you can look to see what others with similar education, experience and expectations are doing in the industry. You might find a completely unexpected position that fits you better than you could have expected.
If you act appropriately, stay active in your industry’s community, and connect with others who are in your field you will not only show employers what an asset you would be to them, but also form connections that will help to further your career in the future.