When it comes to your career, you might not consider social media important, or even that useful a tool to you — that is, unless you’re in Media, Marketing, or you’re a Content Creator. Yes, we know these professions quite literally rely on social media to produce results — because they have to reach an audience — but who’s to say anyone and everyone can’t benefit from these social platforms? In the digital age, there is an audience for everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an Accountant, a Forklift Driver, or an IT Technician, when utilized proactively, social media can play a huge success in furthering your career and/or opening doors to brand-new opportunities.
With that said, here are some ways social media can help you on your job search:
First and foremost, there’s the networking aspect of social media. At the click of a finger, you can quite literally connect with people of all working backgrounds and skillsets from anywhere in the world through all types of social media.
Why do I want to connect with these people though?
How do I begin?
Easy! You join a social media network (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter) and build a profile. To build a social media profile, all you need to do is include what you do, your experience in the X field, your skillsets, career aspirations, and if possible, any links to your work or success stories you think might be worth sharing with the world.
From there, you can find your peers and follow/connect with them. Once you’ve established some connections, you can expand your bubble by finding and reaching out to other professionals in your field.
How to connect with unknown people?
Even if you don’t know someone in your field personally, you can try reaching out to them and let them know you’re in the industry: you’d like to connect, you’re aspiring to complete X goal, you’d like some advice, or you’re hoping to find a job in X. Most of the time — and maybe to your surprise — you’re going to find you get a positive answer and/or some useful feedback.
Better yet, you might even find yourself with a new connection that has opportunities for you, whether they’re immediate, or a little further down the road. All it takes is a bit of courage and effort. Don’t lose faith though, because there’s no shortage of connections out there.
2. Alternatives to Academia
In many professions, you no longer need a university degree or college diploma – experience, skillset, and a growth mindset ) are the key. So long as you’re able to show that you have the skill sets required of the desired role— and the capability to perform efficiently — you’re already on the right track. Employers are looking for reliable and skilled employees.
So how do I make myself stand out from all these other skilled applicants?
Again, it is as simple as making connections. Utilizing the power of technology, you can find out exactly who, for example, the hiring manager of said company, is. Once you find them (or someone who may be connected to the job posting/company) reach out to them and find out exactly what, and who, they’re looking for.
Along the way, you can share your resume and detail a bit about your background, your skillsets, and why you’re interested in working for them — and once again, you might even make a connection throughout the process.
3. Learning New Skillsets
If you’re new to the working world, or shifting career paths, having the experience is going to be a common concern, so worry not. If you follow these tips, you won’t have to empty your pockets for post-secondary education.
To start, get yourself a YouTube account, perhaps even TikTok — yes, TikTok resumes are the next big trend in hiring or Reddit and Quora. These free social media platforms harbor millions of helpful videos created to help you prosper. Want to learn a trade? They have videos for that.
Want to become a designer? or perhaps you want to become a Software Developer? Well, the internet is the best place to go for those hoping to pursue work in IT. In fact, some corporate giants will even pay for you to gain these skillsets, as revealed in a recent LinkedIn article.
According to a social media network, the gap in the IT sector is so large right now that tech companies like Amazon and Google are actually going out of their way to provide people with training (mostly free) to help land an IT-centric job.
The point is, you can learn new skills, or even hone the transferable skills that you never thought you’d master just by staying connected and utilizing social media. The greatest part is that with your new skillsets, you’ll be able to build yourself a brand-new portfolio; something that will allow you to show any employer that you’re capable of the work.
Portfolio you say?
If you want to go beyond a simple resume and cover letter combo, you can build yourself a digital portfolio showcasing much of the work you’ve accomplished and the content you’ve created. This could be showcased on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, or even LinkedIn using photos and video. Several portfolio templates are already available on sites like Canva, Wix etc.
If you want to go one step further, you could even build a website to house all of this content. Nowadays, job applications actually ask you to link your website (if applicable), and fortunately, domains are extremely affordable these days. This means you can actively maintain your own professional website without breaking the bank.
What goes on your website or social media profile, you can add visuals and case studies of the work you did. Think of behavioral-based questions and write a STAR story.
Remember building a portfolio is a full-time job. Think about work outputs and related activities how you contributed, did you help build a new on-ramp - take a picture in real-time, did you read a great book? - write a review, did you go on vacation visit an engineering museum – write a review or take pictures of your favorite structures, attended a conference – tweet about it live.
Share information that fuels your skillset and expertise with your target audience. It is great fodder for social media and your website. And BOOM – you’re a thought leader and influencer in your field and people are going to take notice.
Perhaps being a part of your family’s WhatsApp group might be enough of a social media fix for you, or perhaps that Facebook account you activated 12 years ago is doing the trick, but if you’re reading this, chances are … you’re either a jobseeker looking for a new job or looking to further your career, so why not give some of these social media tips a chance?
Keep in mind, that without social media, it’s unlikely that we’d even have things like job boards (e.g., LinkedIn, Indeed), career webinars, COVID-19 job fairs, podcasts, or YouTube — a magnificent tool, which again, can help you build your skill sets for the price of $0.
So what are you waiting for? Post something, make connections, take an online course! All you need to do is start establishing your digital footprint and you’ll see that being connected really starts to pay off.
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