Social Media is a medium that allows you to share your opinions, and at the same time advertises who you are. Not many people understand when they post the various pictures of themselves that it builds the portfolio that others perceive them. This is not just the people around them physically but the online community as a whole. This means that it is not only your friends that see how you look after a big party but your classmates, distant cousins, some guy named Paul living on the opposite side of the world and more importantly potential employers and companies that you may wish to work with.
Information is now so readily available that the average person can not only the find an individual or company but research their inner workings and what makes them who they are. This can be beneficial and works both ways, employers may have the opportunity to look at your profile and assess you by the amount of pictures of you and your cat or your tireless rants about your personal political leniency but you can do your own research and look at how the companies that you want to work with are going, what’s trending, how their employees are behaving and so on.
“A career is not something that is chosen when an individual leaves education, but rather something that is built through life” - Longridge, Hooley, Staunton 2013
Employers want people who are plugged in and want to know who they are. Gone are the days when you used to ask what you could do for the company. You have to be proactive and state what you can do for them, with what their currently doing and issues they are currently facing. With most to all companies now having some form of social media presence, it’s easier than ever to start getting in contact with who you need.
Here are some tips to manage your online presence:
Don’t spread yourself to thin
With the wide range of social networks out there many people who try to stay up to date and current, end up signing up with too many networks. Unless you do it for a living, more than three to four networks are generally more than enough. You do not want to wear yourself out. These tools are used to only help compliment what you are currently doing, not to overtake your day job. You should choose the platforms that convey your skills. General socialites stick to facebook and twitter, designers with Behance and job seekers or companies with LinkedIn. If you are unsurem you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
Know your Audience
You must understand who you want to target on each of your social networks. As you gain more friends and followers, you may lose track of who is reading your updates and posts. How many of your work colleagues are you connected with? Do you consider them reading your posts when you upload that picture of you at the other end of the beer bong?
Remember, being humble in your career extends to your presence online. Though it is important to self-promote it is only beneficial in moderation. No-one likes to connect or befriend people who are self-involved. You will soon see that your follower numbers will drop. The best way to promote yourself is to promote others. Connect personally with those who spent the time connecting with you, it helps with creating goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer. It goes two-ways, you promote someone, and they will promote you back.
Be Consistent and Recognizable
Much similar to not wearing yourself to thin, you also should be consistent with your posting. It is very important when it comes to any self-promotion or marketing. This can be as simple as using the same image for your profile across all networks. You want people to be able to recognize you no matter what page they are scrolling on. However consistency is the key, not only your pictures, but your (user)name, fonts, colours and your overall message or elevator pitch.
And Don’t Forget to Network
They are called social networks for a reason. This should not obviously replace your normal interactions in the real world, but they are a great way in getting to meet new people and having the opportunity to give that first impression and that first impression can help you towards that career goal of yours.
Be creative in your approach. With the current available technologies then the original paper resume is not all that is required and is now often quite boring to read, especially for those who have to read a hundred to a thousand a day. Stand out and be creative, you don’t have to be tech savvy, you only need the skills and efforts that you use on a daily basis to get that perfect snapchat or Instagram photo correct. Here are some creative examples;
Dear Lisa Rudgers
Nick Belling Video Resume