As a I recent college graduate, how can I use social media to develop my career?
Social media, when used correctly, can help you brand yourself, keep up with trends and current issues, connect with key people and demonstrate your expertise in a certain field.
Like any self-respecting grad student, you’re probably already using the big three; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, despite your hourly tweets, daily Facebook updates and highly professional looking profile photo on LinkedIn, chances are you haven’t yet discovered just how much social media can help you in your professional life.
We’ve all heard about the downside of social media for professionals and read the warnings about how sharing too much can hurt your career, but today, we’re going to take a look at what’s on the opposite side of the fence.
The following list contains a few social media techniques you should be using to further your career.
If you can get the right people to notice your work, then your job is nearly done. Unfortunately, in more professional circles, it can be hard to meet the right people, let alone get them to take an interest in your work.
However, there is a fairly easy way around this obstacle – social media. If you can find effective ways to share examples of your work online, through websites like YouTube, Pinterest or maybe even your own blog, you may not even have to be the one doing the approaching.
Recruiters are starting to use the Internet more and more in their search for potential candidates, and even if you already have a job, creating an online portfolio of your work could help you climb a step on the old career ladder.
If you’re a writer, find a way to publicize everything you write. If you’re a photographer, set up your own blog with samples of your best work. If you’re in video production, share your ideas and projects on sites like YouTube. This can work for virtually any career; it just takes some creativity to make yourself visible to the right crowd.
Networking used to mean going to events, collecting business cards, followed by coming up with reasons to call those numbers. Today, thanks to social media, that process has been simplified. Twitter, for example, allows you to follow key people in your field and interact with them by posting articles, updates, links and comments.
In time, those people may begin to follow you as well, which will help you to build up a network of important industry leaders, who are in turn connected to many other key people. Building up your network will take time as well as plenty of insightful tweeting, posting and linking.
Despite the fact that you are in fact hoping to promote yourself and show off your expertise, you can’t make it all about you 100% of the time. In fact, about 80% of all your content, comments and posts should be general, conversational and related to something other than yourself.
No one enjoys listening to people who talk only about themselves and the same goes for your social networking. You want to engage people and show them you are an expert on a subject, without actually coming right out and telling them you are.
Something that is far more effective than self-promotion is having others do the promoting for you, and this can only happen if people find your opinions and perspective interesting or valuable.
As you interact with other professionals in your field, you will be able to continue to learn and advance your own knowledge by watching what others are doing.
You will get new perspectives on current trends and issues, which will perhaps help you to form new opinions or at least see things from someone else’s point of view. Never get so wrapped up in your own agenda that you forget to consider what others could teach you.