31 May 2016

How to use social media to make yourself more employable

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Social media is often regarded as the downfall of this generation. We spend our dinner dates on our phones, stalk our ex-partners, share inappropriate photos of ourselves in varying states of intoxication and often declare loathing for our jobs- which sometimes results in losing said jobs.

If used correctly, social media can be used to help, rather than hinder, your employability. Here are some of the ways social media can make you more attractive to potential employers:

Portray the right image

Social media equips you with the tools to maintain your professional identity as well as make yourself known the right reasons, according to Sheffield Hallam University. When you apply for a job, you WILL be searched on Facebook. Whilst you can modify your privacy settings to limit the audience who can view your post, the six degrees of separation theory (that everyone is six steps away by way of introduction) means that your potential employer will probably know someone, who knows someone, who knows you.

If you have to limit the visibility of your profile, you should probably reconsider the information you’re offering to the world. This means if you’re hungover you take some Panadol rather than post a status about it.

Draw attention to yourself

Do you have a degree? So do 518 million other people. Employers want to know what makes you different and social media is one way to show off your skills. Use a free blogging platform like Wordpress to build an online portfolio you can link your employers to. Grow your LinkedIn network to demonstrate your wealth of connections (and don’t be surprised if employers start connecting with you).

Research, research, research

LinkedIn is more than a digital CV. Over 300 million professionals worldwide take to LinkedIn to establish a presence and engage with other thought leaders. Search the company you’re hoping to join, follow key influencers in the sector, join and participate in related discussion groups. Prove to the employer that you don’t just want a pay check (though that may well be the case) but that you’re genuinely passionate about the industry.

Tweet tweet

Twitter can be used for more than hash-tagging your shock at the latest Master Chef development. Follow employers and industry leaders to stay abreast of the latest news in your sector. Demonstrate your knowledge by engaging in conversations and commenting on pertinent issues (respectfully). With over 241 million active Twitter users monthly, it’s a platform filled with opportunity.

Social media is not a thing to be avoided or vilified. We simply have to learn the nature of the beast and how to tame it.

“Just as we teach our children how to ride a bike, we need to teach them how to navigate social media and make the right moves that will help them. The physical world is similar to the virtual world in many cases. It’s about being aware.”- Amy Jo Martin

What are some of the ways you’ve used social media to your advantage?

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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