Imagine companies or professionals reaching out to you directly on your personal social media profiles to offer you an opportunity or a job interview. Sounds unbelievable? It’s becoming more common than you think.
Social media is more than just chatting with friends and following influencers. The social media world is also an excellent place to build your career network and propel your career growth, and this is not limited to people working in the digital marketing industry.
Most people stay up to date with their friends and connect with like-minded people on social media. However, there are features on platforms like Facebook to search for a job and submit your profile for consideration. Corporations also recognize the importance of social media accounts to connect with customers and prospective employees to find qualified applicants to join their teams. If you’re a professional looking to rise in the ranks, leveraging social media for career growth can be an important skill to develop.
How Does Social Media Affect Career Development?
There is a multitude of ways that you can use to take advantage of social media to advance your career.
Facebook, LinkedIn and other social channels now post job opportunities that were once only available when a friend shared a link. You might come across job positions and roles that you never considered before, even if you are not on a job search. It’s also easy to submit your profile details and apply for the job.
It’s possible to build a network of hiring managers, executives, and peers on social media, even if you have no opportunity to encounter them in person. This can help you to learn more about different roles and companies and keep in contact with hiring managers while waiting for an open job opportunity to come up.
While most people focus on getting to know hiring managers of the organization they want to join, it’s also a good strategy to network with peers and other members of the team you want to join. The hiring manager will often be open to his or her team’s recommendations for viable candidates, and getting recommendations from a few people in the team can indicate that you’re strongly interested in the open position. You can also use the opportunity to get different perspectives and find out if the position is truly what you expect.
You can also find a mentor on social media, and good mentors can positively influence a person’s career. Mentors provide support and point you in the right direction when you’re looking for opportunities or facing challenges. They may also connect you with other people or resources.
Building a Personal Brand
It’s a well-known fact that prospective employers may check your social media profiles when they’re considering you as a candidate. ASuppose you are passionate about a particular issue and frequently discuss it or share articles on your social media channels. In that case, it can impress a company concerned about similar issues and shares similar values. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your chosen field if you have a lot of experience.
It can also help you stand out amongst the candidates. Prospective employers want to know more about who you are and may rely on your social media channels to find out more about your interests and what kind of person you might be.
Keep Up to Date with Industry Trends and Learn New Skills
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn are great for reading industry articles and improving your knowledge about an industry. You might also come across trending topics and be inspired to pick up a new skill that might become important in the next few years.
Training and Skills Needed to Leverage Social Platforms for Career Growth
Spend some time acquiring the skills needed for leveraging social media platforms for career growth and marketing your personal brand. You can effectively put yourself ahead of others and gain access to new opportunities.
Plan for the stages of your audience growth. What content you start with will be different from what you focus on a year on. Think in stages and adapt your strategy to your audience.
Establishing a personal brand on social media is a way of marketing yourself. Content is the foundation of that. This means producing effective written or video content to engage and build an audience. Each social media channel is unique, so learning the features unique to each platform is important. For example, Twitter requires users to understand hashtags and limit their posts to only 280 characters. It’s been 280 since 2017!
You can share your thoughts about interesting industry reports or business books you’ve read. If you have expertise and industry knowledge, you can also create content sharing what you know.
Only sharing content on social media is not sufficient. You need strong written communication to engage in discussion in the comments. If you’re building a network on social media, you will likely want to meet with a few people for coffee chats, requiring verbal communication skills.
Trending topics change rapidly on social media. If you’re determined to build your presence on your social media, you will need good research skills to quickly get up to date, form your own thoughts, summarize them, and create content for your profile. If you’re in the marketing industry, you would need to stay up to date on marketing technology and trends so you can post relevant content. Sometimes that can mean ongoing education efforts such as taking courses to expand your knowledge. Check out Google Trends as you begin to do your research.
Some platforms are also more popular than others for certain industries. For example, a lot of gaming industry news is posted on Twitter so someone interested in that industry would be more active on Twitter.
A personal brand is comprised of many aspects, including the way you write and talk on social media, the photos you post, and how professional your profile looks. It’s the topics that you write about. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field would attract people who are looking for your skillset. However, pretending to know more than you actually do can be a disaster when you get hired and realize you can’t deliver. You are responsible for managing your own personal brand and not everyone knows how to do so. There are education courses available on how to build your personal brand.
Tips for Leveraging Social Media for Career Development
Here are some strategies anyone can implement to improve their social media profiles and boost your career.
Showcase Your Expertise
Social media is a great way to demonstrate one’s knowledge. You can share articles on any given topic or simply write down your thoughts. Over time, you can build an audience of readers who are interested in your opinions and analysis. This audience may include people working at your dream company who may eventually approach you to offer you an opportunity if you look like you have the experience and skillset they are looking for.
Optimize Your Social Media Profile Career with Social Media?
The first step to improving your social media is to audit your current online brand. View your own profiles and think about what people might perceive about you if they’re seeing your profile for the first time. You might realize that some unwanted posts or pictures from five years ago are still visible and you can adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
Update your profile and cover photos and make sure they look professional. Verify the account if you are asked to. Professional headshots are the safest option, especially for LinkedIn.
Create a compelling summary in the bio. Some platforms like Twitter and Facebook don’t give users room to write much, so a short line stating your profession and industry will work. Platforms like LinkedIn let users write several paragraphs meaning they can go in-depth about stories, past experiences, and their current skill set. You can collect references and have others endorse your skills on LinkedIn. This helps to validate your expertise and provide social proof for your abilities.
Create a Professional Network
Once you’ve revamped your profile, start looking for people to network with. Research the companies and organizations you’re interested in and the people who work there. You can start adding people and send a short pitch of why you’re interested to connect. You might say you want to learn more about their job or company because of an open job position that interests you, or that you’re interested in future roles. If you have something to offer, such as experience or knowledge that the person might be interested in, write about it. People are more likely to accept your invitation if you make the effort to connect with them in that initial pitch.
Are you ready to grow your
With a good social media presence, you might be offered opportunities that you never would have gotten if you had relied on job boards or in-person connections only. You might be able to connect with senior managers you would hardly have the chance to meet simply by engaging with them in a knowledgeable manner on an article they shared. These business connections and opportunities can define your career growth trajectory.
A public relations consultant like Murnahan Public Relations can help you re-brand your social media, provide media training and give unbiased feedback on your communication success. They can also serve as a social media strategist to provide great insights into how to position yourself to be a thought leader in your field of expertise.