Using social networks to further your career.

November 13, 2014

LinkedIn-endorsements-recommendationsThis post is aimed at people who want to get ahead in their career (by doing the bare minimum) through social networking sites. Even if you don’t like social networking, you can do the bare minimum to help get ahead in your professional life. Recruiters are increasingly looking to social networking sites to find top talent. You could be missing out on job opportunities simply because you can’t be found or your profile is incomplete. On the other hand your social footprint could be putting potential employers off, this can be more dangerous and needs managed. There’s no disputing the fact that meeting beats tweeting when it comes to landing your dream job but some focus in the right direction can definitely reap rewards.

Here are some tips for popular sites to maximise exposure with minimum effort:

  1. LinkedIn

If you’re serious about getting ahead in your career you need to be visible on LinkedIn. If you join one site make it this one, reported to have around 300 million acquired users in 200 territories, LinkedIn has longevity and is evolving to be the number one site for recruiters to connect with professionals. It is best used to connect and communicate with people you have met professionally and to showcase your achievements. This is your online resume and you need to update it as such to reflect changes in your professional life and to post  and interact with professional content.

Top tips:

  • If you want your LinkedIn account to be private it is best to link it to a personal e-mail address rather than a work one.
  • Cut and paste information from your CV directly to get started quickly, ensuring you have keywords associated to your career goal within your title and headings.
  • The easiest way to build your network is to import contacts directly from your e-mail accounts and invite people from there. Another good way is to search through employees of companies where you have previously worked or colleges you have attended.
  • After you connect with someone send them a message to get the conversation started and keep in contact with them.
  • Ask trusted associates to recommend you to add weight to your profile.
  • Add links to any work you want to showcase on your profile.
  • If you read something interesting or of value get into the habit of sharing the content with your network.
  • Like and comment on your network’s posts which interest you.
  • Join and take part in LinkedIn groups, comment on posts of people who’s attention you want to grab, follow companies and get on other people’s radar.

 

  1. Facebook.

Chances are you are already on here, but did you know that some hiring managers now check out social profiles of potential recruits as a matter of course. Ensure your facebook footprint isn’t putting potential employers off by doing the following:

  • Have your facebook account set to private and only have content made public that you’d be happy for any prospective boss to see, too many drunken pics down the pub with your mates might suggest you’re one dimensional when it comes to your extra curricular activities.
  • If you want a public profile always edit it and balance out images of what you get up to in your free time. Clean out any old pics or posts that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to find.
  • Don’t allow people to automatically tag you in pics or posts without review. Very important if you’re a frequent clubber and spend most summers in Ibiza.

To attract opportunities and maximize chances you appear in search and job ad targeting:

  • Make sure your profile is properly filled in and lists details of your current job, past jobs, where you live and age group. Security wise it’s best not to publish your full date of birth but year of birth will do.
  • Fill in work related interests so that you can be found by advertisers – recruiters are increasingly targeting job ads to facebookers and can use filters based on information you fill in on your profile.

Finally, make sure you follow companies you’d like to work for to get regular updates and see job positions being advertised.

 

  1. Twitter.  *Disclaimer – Can be addictive and may contain nuts.*

Twitter is a fantastic networking tool, unlike facebook it is acceptable to engage and have conversations with complete strangers. If unlike me, this prospect makes you feel sick remember you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time of there to find and attract opportunities, just concentrate on doing the following:

  • Update your twitter profile with relevant professional keywords and a link to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Search to see if there’s a recognizable hash tag associated with your career and put that in your profile so you are found in search under people e.g. #php #UX #.net #socmed #HR #marketing.
  • Tweet interesting content tagging it with the relevant # you want to be found for.
  • Use the search function to look for jobs being advertised in your area eg if you are looking for a #ux #job #derry.
  • Follow companies you’d like to work for and engage with their content rather than directly propositioning them for a job on here. Use the content to showcase your knowledge and opinions.
  • Create a list of people you would like to regularly engage with and check this list for updates – ensures you don’t miss out on posts from people amid all the noise.

Pinterest.

If there’s a visual element to your profession e.g. Photographer, Designer, Marketeer use it to showcase visuals of your work. Even if you are a consultant in a field like Recruitment you can post infographics or quotes of interesting content. Pinterest can be used to follow interests and showcase what you are interested in. Not an obvious one to use unless your profession demands it but can be a nice way to build relationships with people through the aesthetic.

Instagram.

Again I’d say this is a nice to have rather than a necessity, it’s used to engage with other users through sharing pictures. Again very useful if you work in an area where visuals are prominent. If you love taking pictures and sharing them with the world it could be a good medium to get your personality across, otherwise I’d skip it.

Googleplus.

Not for me as yet so I’m not going to waffle on about it, dipped my toes in a few times but haven’t felt engaged. Please let me know if you’ve found it useful in the comments below.

Good luck with the next move, do feel free to connect if you need advice or help along the way.

Lynn.

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