How do you use social media? To keep in touch with friends and family, share holiday snaps or keep up with the latest news? Have you thought about how you could use it to boost your career? Or how your online presence looks to a potential employer?
We’ve put together some top tips on how to use social networking to progress your career.
Stalk yourself and remain professional
It’s well known that employers look up potential employees on social media. In fact, research by YouGov found that 36% of UK employers have turned down candidates because of their social media profiles. The top three reasons given which discourage employers from hiring a potential candidate, were offensive language, anti-social behaviour, and bad spelling/grammar.
Review all your social media profiles and check your privacy settings. Then do a quick internet search of your name, you might be surprised what pops up. Have you posted anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see? Consider deleting it or go to your privacy settings and make your profile as private as you can.
Imagine you’ve spent an evening writing a job application emphasising how passionate you about a job, only for your potential employer to discover your Twitter rant complaining about your current job. The key thing is to think before you post! This applies for all social media platforms but is especially important if you are using an account for professional purposes.
Professionalism on social media also applies to your photos too. Even if you’ve locked down your privacy, your profile photo will always be public so it’s important to ensure you would be happy for a future employer to see it.
Set up a LinkedIn account
LinkedIn is a social network all about expanding your professional and industry connections. You create your own CV-like profile to share with potential employers, peers and useful contacts. It’s a great platform for connecting with your past and present colleagues, searching for jobs, getting involved in industry conversations, and reaching out to those in your sector, whether that be for sales leads or career advice.
Once you’ve created your profile, start conversations by joining relevant industry groups and engaging with posts from companies and peers.
As well as connecting with those you already know, you can also utilise LinkedIn to network with other people who do your dream job or work in the industry you want to get into. Invite these people to connect with you and message them with any questions you may have: how did they get your dream job? What kind of skills do you need to do their job? What’s your top tip for someone aspiring to do their job? Most people will be flattered and happy to help. You never know, you might get an opportunity from reaching out in this way.
Watch this space for our guide to setting up your LinkedIn profile.
Don’t just accept anyone into your network
Although it’s a good idea to reach out and connect with people you don’t know in your industry, be careful about who you are linked with on social media.
Just as it’s important to think before you post, accepting someone into your network on any social media platform, is an endorsement of that individual. Think about who you want to be associated with online just as you would offline in the real world.
Follow and engage with others
Follow organisations, key professionals and publications relevant to your chosen industry on social media platforms. You can easily do this on Twitter and LinkedIn in particular. They will share interesting and relevant news, initiatives and opportunities so you can keep up to date with what’s going on in your field.
Following prospective employers too is a great way of getting to know about job opportunities and vacancies, as well as keeping up to date with the latest company news – this will be particularly valuable if you are invited for an interview.
Don’t be afraid to engage and ask questions either. Reaching out to say ‘I’m really interested in working for you. Do you have any current opportunities?’ could end up landing you your next job.
Looking to progress or kick-start your career and gain a nationally recognised qualification? An Apprenticeship could be for you! From Accounting to Care, find out more about the routes we offer here.