How to Use Social Media in Your Career
Social media is an excellent tool to help further your career. You might think of it as a way to share photos and updates with your friends, but there are ways you can use it to your advantage when it comes to professional development.
Using it for your career development is not without its risks. Sharing anything online could come back to bite you in the future. Social media can also become a drain on your time and energy. So, before you start using it to further your career, it’s important to consider the potential risks alongside the benefits.
In this guide, we will explore how you can use social media in your career, the benefits of social media for career development, and how to avoid the most common pitfalls.
How can social media help your career?
When we think about this, we often think about chatting with friends and sharing photos of our weekend plans, but there’s more to social media than this. Plenty of people are using social media in a professional capacity to help further their careers. Nolan Recruitment shared some tips about networking too.
The first distinction you need to make when thinking about social media for career development is the type of platforms you might use. Professionals are more likely to gravitate towards sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to help further their careers.
If you are in a creative industry, you might also use Pinterest and Instagram. And finally, Facebook can be helpful if you are launching your own business and want to spread the word.
How you use social media to help further your career will be vastly different to how you might use it when you want to share updates with your friends and family. Social media is ultimately a way to connect with like-minded people and share thoughts and ideas. In a professional capacity, this could mean sharing your opinion on a piece of industry news, sharing your specialist knowledge on a subject, or seeking out educational resources.
How do people use social media for their careers?
Just like you would use it in a personal capacity, you can also use it in a professional capacity. Here are just some of the ways you could use social media to further your career:
- Connect with hiring managers after an interview. Even if you didn’t land the role, you can connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn and Twitter after an interview to help keep the lines of communication open. This will allow you to be the first to know about new job openings and could even lead to other opportunities that might not be advertised externally.
- Share your thoughts on LinkedIn. If you have specialist knowledge on a subject or just want to spark a debate on an industry topic, you could share this in a blog post on LinkedIn. This will have evergreen appeal, which means it will be forever connected to your name. When hiring managers are doing their background research, they might stumble across your article and appreciate your insight and expertise.
- Find new opportunities. When you’re following the kinds of companies you want to work for, you’re more likely to spot opportunities that might not be advertised on the main job sites. Many companies skip this step because they want to attract people who are interested in working for their company, not just any company.
What are the benefits of using social media for your career?
As mentioned above, social media can be an evergreen resource. This means that your engagement will be visible to those making the hiring decisions, so they will see that you are actively engaged in the industry. This is very difficult to fake, so having a social media footprint can be incredibly useful in an interview setting.
It’s also beneficial to be able to connect with like-minded people in your industry. You never know where connections could take you, and striking up an online friendship with someone more senior in your sector could lead to a recommendation further down the road.
And finally, it’s helpful to be able to seek advice and support when you need it. Social media can be a great place to learn new skills and identify gaps in your CV.
What are the potential pitfalls to avoid?
Social media can be great for your career but always proceed with caution. You should keep your personal and professional profiles separate and be aware that everything you post online reflects on you.
You should also be aware of the potential to waste time on social media. If social media starts to take up too much of your time, it might be a good idea to set time limits so it doesn’t become a drain. It’s very easy to get sucked into spending far too much time on social media, particularly if you can justify saying it is for your career.