It’s surprising to me how many people have embraced social networks for personal use, but don’t really use social to enhance their careers or find a new job. Everyone can benefit from using social media, no matter what you do for a living. And having a Linkedin profile, while extremely important, is not enough.
A survey by Jobvite found that 89% of companies use social media to recruit employees. The survey also found that organizations’ recruiting departments are using multiple social networks to engage potential new hires, with LinkedIn leading in usage (89%), followed by Facebook (55%) and Twitter (47%). Forty percent of companies surveyed use all three top networks–LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter–as part of their recruitment process. So if you want to be seen by recruiters and employers (current and future), and be perceived as an expert and influencer in your industry or craft, you must start taking social seriously.
Here are 5 ways you can use social networks to enhance your career and reputation, and improve your job search strategy:
- Focus on the Big Three to start:
Set up profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are many other social networks that you will use over time, but start with these three. Once you feel you’re making progress you can move on to some others like Google +, Pinterest and YouTube.
- Follow the right people/companies and join LinkedIn Groups:
It’s ok to follow your favorite celebreties, sportsteams and TV shows, but be sure your Twitter and LinkedIn following is dominated by experts and influencers in your industry. If you want to work for a technology company, follow @Google, @Mashable, and @GuyKawasaki on Twitter for example. If you want to work for Honda, for instance, follow @Honda on Twitter. On LinkedIn, follow companies in your industry and participate in LinkedIn groups in your area of expertise. This is a great way to build your network of connections and be seen by people who can influence your career.
- Subscribe to RSS feeds to develop and share content:
Your key to success will be to easily find content about your industry or craft, and easily be able to share and comment on it. Use Google Reader to keep up with websites and blogs that publish interesting content related to your career. Reeder is a great tool that links to Google Reader and allows you to view and share content on iPhones and iPads.
- Start a blog:
Penelope Trunk has the easiest, best advice on how to start blogging. All you need to do is pick software (this is WordPress but there are others) and start blogging about what interests you – be sure to tie it to your career, industry and expertise. That’s why I mostly blog about social media and the workplace. This doesn’t mean you can’t be personal and have a sense of humor. Just make sure you are always appropriate. Finally, you can use tools like Evernote to keep track of blog ideas. Too busy to blog? No way. Take just a little bit of time away from the TV or gaming, and set yourself a regular schedule to blog. You can do it!
- Be consistent:
Build the 4 tips above into your everyday life. If you work at a desk, there are always natural times during the work day you can Retweet an interesting tweet, or read a great article from Google Reader that relates to your career and share it on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a desk job, you can use your smartphone at breaks or work the profiles on your days off. This is too important not to find the time. Try to tweet at least once a day. Visit LinkedIn at least once a week and update your profile every few weeks with new skills and experience. Comment on and “like” relevant Facebook company pages daily or at least a few times a week. Blog at least once every couple of weeks, once a week is better. The worst thing to do is set up a profile and a blog, and ignore it. You will lose your credibility.
If you have a great tip on how to use social to enhance your career, please share it with us here. The best tip will get a $25 gift certificate to my favorite coffee shop in the world, Dunkin’ Donuts, and we’ll announce the winner here 30 days from today. If you like other coffee, and I don’t know how that’s possible, than you can give your winnings to a Dunkin’ fan you know or even to me 🙂
If you are currently looking for a new job, Adecco has just published a great webinar with tons of tips on how to use the social networks to find your next great job. I encourage you to view it.
Ready to get started? Then follow me on Twitter at @edblust, especially if you are in the marketing field. If you are interested in workplace and career content, just search for #AdeccoCMO on Twitter and you will see all my previous tweets on the topic.
Good luck and feel free to post any questions, comments and tips you may have!