Inspiration for this entry came at the end of a fascinating discussion on the power of two social platforms, Pinterest and Instagram, as part of Social Media Week London 2014. At the end of the discussion a member of the audience asked whether having a personal presence on social media platforms was beneficial to your chances of securing your dream job. The panel of social media pros almost couldn’t believe the question had been asked, replying that in this modern day world of digital marketing, to which social media strategy is so central, how you act and react on social platforms is almost the most important tool at your disposal in terms of your professional opportunities.
One panel member claimed that he regularly ‘stalks’ candidates on every social platform he can find them on before deciding whether to interview them. This is unsurprising, especially for those pursuing careers in online marketing and PR- how can you expect an employer to take notice of you and want you to help build their clients’ online presence if you have not grasped social media management for yourself?
Of course, there are certain platforms you are entitled to keep private. For example, Facebook- which may have personal pictures of friends and family, or perhaps just pictures of you in your university days, which you may look back on with the fondest memories, but want as far away as your future employer’s eyes as possible! On the other hand your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter account are worth making public and using as digital marketing tools, with you as the product. Engage with brands, companies and professionals that interest you on twitter; contribute valuable input to conversations and be witty and funny when appropriate. It’s important to get yourself out there and get noticed so that people may already know of you by the time you approach them.
“You can’t build clients’ online presence without grasping social media management for yourself”
If you are searching for new opportunities, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool which basically works as your CV online. People can come across your CV while searching for potential candidates. Or if you have made the first move, rather than requesting a CV via email, employers are more likely to help themselves to your CV by looking you up. LinkedIn is therefore the most important place to show your professional personality. Make sure your profile not only includes your relevant experience but also portrays who you are as a person, and your aspirations. Include recommendations from people you’ve worked with in the past, as in the busy world of business a lot of employers will have no time for ‘available on request’ references.
“Judgement is a great thing if you are confident and careful about what you post.”
Some might shy away from social media as they worry employers, colleagues or other professionals may judge them on what they see- it is true they will! However, this judgement is a great thing if you are confident and careful about what you post. Think of yourself as the product and creating a solid online marketing strategy across several social platforms your aim. Achieving strong Social Media Management in this way, is an effective and cost-free way to get you where you want to be in the professional world.