If you are a student, chances are high that you are heavily involved in social media. Chances are, you’ve also read dozens of panicky articles on the ways that social media can ruin your career before it even begins. Unfortunately, in the midst of all of this sky is falling negativity, it can be easy to forget that social media can be a key source for you in your quest to boost your career.
Keep reading to learn 9 methods that you can use to for leveraging social media to boost your career.
1. Use Career Networking Sites to Make Professional Connections
If you do nothing else to further your career on social media, you should at least establish a presence on at least one professional networking site. LinkedIn is, of course, the most well-known. You should definitely take the time to create a profile there and to connect with potential employers, former co-workers, professors, and others who can help you to make professional connections.
However, it is important to keep in mind that there are also other professional networking sites. These often cater to people in specific niches. For example, if you are interested in working in a civil service job or obtaining work overseas, you may find that an alternative career networking site will meet your needs.
2. Create a Professional Social Media Presence
While your personal, social media activity shouldn’t do anything to damage your career prospects, remember that there is nothing stopping you from creating a separate, professional social media presence. In fact, for most people, this is a wise thing to do.
If you are preparing to enter the workforce as a student or recent graduate, now is the time to set up social media accounts that are designed solely to further your career.
3. Show Your Work With an Online Portfolio or Blog
If you are going into a field such as art or design, there are plenty of social media channels that you can use as your online portfolio. Tumblr and Instagram are just two possibilities. Then, of course, you can use other social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to promote and broadcast new additions to your portfolios.
Of course, visuals aren’t the only means for you to show off your talent, knowledge, and insights. If you have something to say about your chosen industry, it might be time to start a professional blog. You can use your blog to build an audience of potential employers, clients, or coworkers. These connections will help you once you are fully engaged in your job search.
4. Participate in Industry Relevant Conversations
While blogging is great, it can take the time to develop an audience that is interested in what you have to say. One way to create more immediate connections and get the attention of people in your industry is to find relevant conversations, then jump in with your insights.
You can do this by seeking out active conversations on Twitter and offering up your thoughts. Not only will you get to demonstrate your knowledge, you will also benefit by learning from others as well. Another social media outlet to consider questions and answer forums. Check out Quora and other similar platforms and see if there are questions that you can answer. It’s never too early to establish thought leadership.
5. Create And Curate Content That Relates to Your Industry
You can attract followers and work-related engagement by making sure that your content is full of information that relates to your industry. Follow blogs, social media feeds, and news sources that are relevant to people in your industry. Then, be sure and curate all of the great information you receive out to your own followers. Of course, you should be sure to put your own spin on that.
Now, let’s talk about the social media content that you create. On your professional social media pages, a minimum of 80 percent of the content that you produce should be industry relevant. Of course, that can be a tough thing to manage while you are busy with your studies as well. Remember that there is no shame in deciding to getacademichelp so that you can focus your time and developing your social media presence.
6. Develop Social Media Relationships With Industry Influencers
The great thing about social media is that you don’t have to wait for an introduction or a face to face encounter to introduce yourself to the people who have the potential to have a positive impact on your career. Instead, you can reach out to them via social media.
Just remember that this requires some finesse. Nothing is going to put somebody off quite like some stranger asking them for an in-person meeting, or to recommend their blog to their followers. Instead, start off slowly by following industry influencers. Then, start sharing their content and engaging with them when they post. Eventually, as you become known to them they will likely begin taking notice of you.
This can lead to guest posting opportunities, mentoring, or simply the value of having an influential follower. Keep in mind that hiring managers will check out your social media presence. One thing that they want to know is who you’re following and who is following you.
7. Show Off Your Soft Skills
No matter what field you are entering, there are certain soft skills that can make you especially valuable to potential employers. These include having good writing skills, possessing great interpersonal skills, sales savvy, and the ability to manage conflict.
One place to demonstrate many of these skills is on social media. If potential employers can see that you are diplomatic, level-headed and that you behave professionally in all situations, they will have faith in your ability to apply those skills on the job.
8. Research And Connect With Companies That Interest You
Don’t forget that it isn’t just your social media presence that can help your career. Chances are the companies that you are interested in working with also have active social media accounts. Not only does this mean that you can learn as much as possible about these companies, but it also means that you have many opportunities to connect with these brands.
Why is this important? Skills are things that can be learned and relearned. What cannot be taught is your ability to fit in with a team or to mesh with company culture. By connecting with brands on social media, you can get a get idea of how you might be a fit.
9. Build Your Personal Brand
Finally, don’t forget that your social media channels are your platforms for developing your own personal brand. In many ways, as you are entering the workforce, it is your personality and character that will appeal to potential employers as much as your skills or experience. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions and let your passions and interests be known.
Don’t fear social media. Instead, recognize it as a career-boosting opportunity. As long as you approach it with a sense of professionalism and have a bit of a plan of action, you can use social media to make contacts with people, demonstrate your abilities, and simply increase professional network.