With all of the advances and new innovations in the realm of computers and technology, social media is one trend that isn’t slowing down. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook are just a few of the social media sites that are adding hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of new users daily. Regardless of your reasons for joining–personal or business –it won’t be effective, and could be detrimental, if you don’t know how to use social media to your advantage.
Many people first join a social media site in order to connect with friends and expand their social network. It’s an easy way to communicate with family, keep in touch with current friends as well as a way to reconnect with old ones. Posting an event or sharing a common cause can be done in a matter of moments. There are many social benefits to this type of use; however, the possibilities inherent in social media sites are so much greater than this.
In the past when a company was looking to hire it would post an ad in the newspaper. Shops would hang a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. And to apply a person would go and talk to the manager or supervisor in person and perhaps even give them a copy of their resume .
Many companies have moved beyond those days. Social media is one of the most powerful tools that employers use when looking for new hires. Whether they are looking over the Facebook pages of applicants, searching Linkedin profiles for those with the proper credentials and qualifications, or checking twitter for those who are looking for work, rest assured companies large and small are using social media as an employment tool. So the question then becomes, how do I use social media as a positive tool for myself?
Whether you are currently employed or looking for work, it is important that your social media profiles reflect the type of person that you want your employer, or potential employer, to see. And that is true across the board. Having a clean, professional-looking profile on LinkedIn will be marred by unsavory images and/or comments on Facebook or angry or insulting tweets associated with your name. It is important that you project a positive, consistent image across all social media platforms and that you carefully restrict and control intensely personal content from being seen by the general public or from professional associates.
Your profile pages are also a great place to do a little bit of self promotion . Be sure that you — in a tactful way — describe what you do, your accomplishments, and what you contribute to your current position and industry. Your page is likely to be the first impression that most people, including employers, will get so you want it to look and sound good.
What better way do you have to connect with business associates and industry leaders than through social media? Visiting their pages, liking their content, and making worthwhile contributions to their discussions can be a great way to get connected. Perhaps after sharing online for a while you can try and connect in person. This is also a great way to stay informed about events and start establishing yourself in your industry. building a professional network is done more and more online and social media sites are a great way to expand your connections.
Social media has revolutionized the way we live and even more so how we work. Now it’s up to us to use it in a positive way to achieve our dreams and reach our goals.