Whether it’s for career advancement or a career change, your social media presence needs to appeal to current or future employers.
Whether you’re happily settled in your dream job or looking to make a move, a strong social media presence, that reflects your personal brand is a must if you are planning on career advancement.
Imagine you’re running your own business and in the process of recruiting a new staff member. You have a pile of resumes and cover letters, but you want to know more about a potential employee and what makes them tick. Apart from the usual google search, chances are you’ll be looking on a range of social media channels to get a feel for who they are and what they represent. It’s easy to understand why your own social channels are a key part of marketing yourself and promoting your brand.
Here are our five key steps to get your career advancement started:
Audit and investigate
If you already have a social media presence, make sure that anything that’s visible to the public is appropriate for a prospective employer to see. Also, check yourself out on various platforms as a member of the public to make sure that your privacy settings are adequate – and make sure that anything personal is only visible to friends. If you haven’t been big on social in the past, it’s still a good idea to make sure there are no long forgotten account profiles that need updating or removing.
Choose your channels
What social platforms are best for your career advancement? For most people, a LinkedIn profile is essential, but it depends on the nature of your work. For example, if you’re working in retail or graphic design then more visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook will be the most relevant platforms for you. But if you’re in finance or technology then LinkedIn and Twitter are better choices. Choosing two platforms that allow you to showcase your work and industry knowledge is an effective way to get started and narrow down the focus going forward. Remember that for each profile you have, you’ll need to commit to keeping it updated and that takes time. Be realistic about what you can manage and don’t overcommit.
Establish your brand
What is it that you want to portray with your social profiles? For most people, thought leadership is the number one priority as it shows prospective employers that you not only know your stuff – but that you’re regularly thinking about your industry and posting material that reflects your knowledge and experience. Do you want to be seen as authoritative? Or innovative? Whatever the case, this should be part of your strategy and it should be reflected in the content you publish.
Decide what you’ll publish
Perhaps you want to publish a weekly story about something topical in your industry and share it across your social platforms. Or maybe you’re more comfortable sharing news stories or posts from notable others with comment from yourself. Think about what is realistically achievable and plan your content. You need to keep your social media fresh and up to date so it’s important to strategise. Scheduling specific times each week to keep your profiles up to date will help you stay focused.
Strengthen your connections
Strengthening your connections on social media as you build your profiles is essential. By continually connecting with others in your industry you’ll have more chance of being seen by prospective employers. Each week, think about anyone new you’ve met personally or professionally and send them an invite to connect with a personalised message. Whether they’re colleagues or people you’ve met at an industry event commit to growing your network as part of your strategy.
Social media is a valuable tool for career advancement as it allows you to showcase your knowledge, experience, and connections. Choosing the most appropriate channels and planning your posts should be part of an ongoing commitment to career development. Establishing a strategy that reflects your brand and regularly making new connections, will help boost your profile and ensure you’re visible to prospective employers.