We already know that social media is an excellent way of procrastination when we should be doing actual work. How many times have you said to yourself “Let me just check my Facebook real quick” of “I’ll just scroll through Twitter for a while” only to realize that hours have passed and you haven’t done anything productive? Yes, procrastination is just a nice way of saying “wasting time” and that’s what we mostly do when we hang out on our social media profiles. However, social media can actually help your career in the ways you have probably never thought about. So, let’s see how you can turn social media to your advantage.
1. Discover Facebook groups
In the sea of wedding photos, engagement announcements and deep statuses, you can actually find something useful on Facebook. The most popular social network offers you the best opportunity to get in touch with the professionals of all kinds, learn a lot and maybe even find a job opportunity. This all happens in the hidden part of Facebook, the groups. Join those that are related to your career interests and your time spent on Facebook will become much more productive.
2. Learn about a company through Instagram
Sure, a lot of it on Instagram is famous and less famous people posting their pretty selfies, fashion choices and fancy food. But Instagram is, and could be, much more than that. This social network is excellent for getting to know a person – or, in this case, a company. Many companies now have profiles on Instagram and by looking them up, you can learn a lot about the company culture. If you’re applying for a job, make sure to check out whether the company has Instagram and include the details you’ve learned to stand out in the interview.
3. Meet other experts in your field
Although we mostly use social media to communicate with those we already know, this can be a great way of meeting new people too. And if we are talking about your career, you should turn social networks into something practical and use the opportunity to meet other experts from your field of work. This is the easiest way of networking and you know what kind of opportunities can arise if you know the right people. Maybe somebody will think that you are just the right person for a job opening.
4. Attract employers
Having profiles on social media can be tricky. We usually don’t even realize that having them means making ourselves public for the whole world to see. And this means we have to be careful what we put out there. As a professional, you need to pay attention to what you post online, whether it’s a photo or an opinion – your potential employers are quite likely to search you up and make a decision based on your social media profiles. So make a profile that would be attractive to somebody who intends to hire you,
5. Regularly update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn profile is something you absolutely must have as a serious professional on the job market right now. It is the best way to make yourself seen by companies and other experts in your area of work and it’s your best chance to promote yourself by having a great resume. Since almost every employer nowadays will look you up on LinkedIn, you need to make sure that it’s detailed, accurate and regularly updated.
6. Include professional details
Whatever the platform you’re a part of, you will need to include some professional details in your profile and make it look serious and professional. As we already mentioned, your social media can also harm your career if you’re not paying attention so you must always look at it from a perspective of somebody who is potentially going to hire you. So, include your education and professional background and make sure you have a decent profile picture and a professional-looking URL – this means ditching that totally cool e-mail address you made when you were 16 and switching to a serious one.
7. Research a company online
Chances are that the company you’re applying at has a profile on at least one of the social networks. And, whole all companies have websites you should definitely check out, social media can give you that extra advantage of getting some details and recent posts. A company’s Facebook will tell you more about their employees, policies, attitudes and an image they’re trying to send. You can easily incorporate all this information once you’re at the interview to show them that you’ve done your homework.
8. Get to know your co-workers
And finally, once you’re already hired, social media can be an excellent way of finding out more about your new co-workers. A little stalking never hurt nobody, if it’s for a good cause. By looking your co-workers up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you can find a lot about their interests both inside and outside work. This will give you a pretty good insight into what music they listen to, what movies they like to watch, what food they love to eat, etc. And this kind of information can only help you bond with them and making some office friendships is never bad for your career.
9. Become a social network manager
Do you think you are the expert for social networks? You have profile on pretty much every single one of them and you know exactly how things work? You may expand your area of expertise then and become a social network manager as an addition to your current job, or you can find one. You will need a great knowledge of social networks and a knack for what people want to see there so that you can promote your company in the best way. If you find the idea appealing, you should find out more about the marketing strategies necessary for this job.