Social media is a vital tool in today’s working world – it can even help you score your dream job. Here’s how to use the power of social to fuel your success.
Today, work happens even more online than it does in person and the pandemic has made that truer than ever before. Alongside video calls and cloud services, social media has become integral to businesses and the careers of the people who work for them.
In fact, by understanding and applying the power of social media, you can take your work destiny into your own hands and use it to attract your ideal employer. To make it work for you, it’s worth getting purposeful about how you approach social media. A considered approach will help you make the most of its benefits while avoiding its pitfalls.
Clean up your act
Online privacy is a hot topic and for good reason. But are you using the privacy settings on your social media channels to full effect? It’s surprising how much of a social trail each of us leaves over the years. If you’re not careful, you run the risk of a potential employer finding that not-so-flattering Facebook photo of you at a late-night Freshers Week or discovering the angry argument you had with a food delivery company on Twitter.
As you step into the world of work, you want to present your best self whenever you can. If you use social channels like Facebook and Instagram to show off your wild side, consider setting your profile and/or posts to private. Even better, clean up your existing content on potentially work-appropriate channels like Instagram and Twitter then use them to your advantage to build your personal brand. More on that in a moment.
Top tip? Ask an acquaintance or family member you’re not connected with online to search your name on Google and the top social channels to see what they find. They’ll be able to alert you to anything you need to clean up before potential employers spot it.
Used correctly, your social media channels can support your professional goals and help build your personal brand. LinkedIn is the most important platform for the majority of industries, but Instagram, Twitter and other services can be relevant too.
Wherever you’re posting, make sure you put a smart strategy behind your activity. Sit down, think hard and write a one-pager capturing how you want the working world to see you. This is your ‘positioning’. Use this crucial document to guide how you craft your bio, the kinds of images you share, the themes and issues you post about, and even the tone and language you use.
Remember, you can be authentic and strategic. Potential employers will value that winning combination.
Top tip? If you don’t have a professional photo for your LinkedIn bio, get some headshots taken or ask a friend to take one for free. Dress to impress, whatever that means for your desired industry. First impressions count, especially online.
Become a solo publisher
You will have already noticed that the best brands and businesses act as online publishers, regardless of the industry they operate in. You can do the same, using your social channels to share useful, thought-provoking news and views about your chosen sector.
Seen an article that would be relevant to people in your field? Share it, with an insightful bit of supporting copy to showcase your personal take on the piece. Seen a recent project or initiative you love? Write a blog post review and share it to your social channels.
Top tip? Posting regularly and consistently is key. It can be a letdown for an employer to see a flurry of activity, followed by months of silence. Consider acting like a brand and creating your own ‘content calendar’. This means you can sit down and spend a couple of hours planning a whole month’s worth of content in advance, then simply post it as and when.
Get social media right and businesses will be impressed by your point of view, as well as your obvious drive, creativity and even project management skills. You might even score a job as a content creator!
As you begin and grow your career, social media can be your greatest ally. Take some of the energy and enthusiasm you use to keep friends updated about what you’re up to and bring it to boost your professional presence. It’s sure to pay off, and you’ll have the satisfaction of contributing to your industry’s culture. Win-win!