How to Use Social Media for Your Next Career Move
We live in a time when the entire process of recruitment is getting increasingly digitized. HR personnel routinely use digital professional platforms and networks to find the most suitable candidates for a job opening. The process of hiring is also becoming increasingly more digitized, what with virtual job fairs and online interviews. With social media sites becoming a growing part of the professional marketplace, it is important to explore the different ways you could use social media and digital communications technology to take control of your professional journey and plan your next career move.
There are many ways to spread messages and communicate using social media. Everyone you know and their grandma is probably on Facebook, letting their friends know what they’re up to. But simply saying you want such and such job, or are looking to venture into such and such area, is not nearly enough. To see any measurable benefits, it is important to have a fairly good idea of where you’re looking to go, as this will help you target the right people. Let’s look at a few ways you could use social media networks to expand your reach and increase your chances of being found by the right people with the right opportunities, at the right time.
Instead of using different social media networks separately, it may be a better idea to consolidate all your contacts and translate them into professional circles. You don’t have to do this manually. If you did, you probably wouldn’t have any time to have a career! LinkedIn, the most useful professional social media platform at the moment, does this for you, by allowing you to import contacts from your email, Facebook etc. This allows you to get an idea of where your social contacts stand in the context of your professional network, and so communicate more effectively.
This can be a good way to know what kind of networks your social contacts have, and to communicate what you’re looking for to the right contacts. But you could also look for potential employers, collaborators or supporters on LinkedIn, by exploring groups, professional networks and company circles. A big part of meeting your professional goals is about being informed. It is always a good idea to explore potential future contacts and to make yourself aware of key professionals within companies that interest you, and to remain informed about vacancies, trends etc.
It is important to be prepared for people to find your social media profiles, if you are going to use them for professional networking. After all, your profile is the first thing people will see, so it’s important for it to be up to scratch. So maintain a consistent profile on all the platforms and make sure your profile is up to date and sends the right message to future collaborators.
What about getting in touch with future employers and collaborators? Can you simply get in touch with someone you don’t know, or is that a form of cold calling? The thing with social media is that you can request to connect with someone you don’t know simply to be part of their circle. Different people have different policies about accepting requests from unknown contacts – so you may get accepted, or you may not, but it’s certainly worth a shot if it is someone you are interested in making a connection with. Always consider making a connection through a mutual contact, as this goes a long way in establishing credibility.
Another important thing to remember about social media is that each platform functions differently from one another. So your approach should be tailored differently when reaching out to members of your network on various platforms. Read more about how each platform is functions different from one another by downloading our social media guide:
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Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.