Mindlessly scrolling TikTok or cackling at every single ‘did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?’ joke on Twitter is unlikely to be the most productive use of your time.
But don’t dismiss all social media as just for fun.
The fact is that these days, employers will likely give your online presence a quick scan at some point during the hiring process – and what they see could make a difference to whether you land the job.
So, it’s vital that you make sure your social media is working for you.
The good news is that it’s not that hard to tweak the way you post to boost your career.
Bernard Marr, a futurist, award-winning business author, and strategic advisor, is recognised by LinkedIn as the number one influencer in the UK, and one of the top five in the world… so he knows his stuff.
Ahead, he shares five essential steps to use social media to land your next great job.
Separate your personal and professional profiles
Bernard tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I recommend keeping your personal and professional profiles separate as you ramp up your visibility online.
‘After all, potential employers don’t want to see your vacation snapshots, and your friends and family may not want to read about your professional credentials.
‘Choose some networks for business, and others for private communications. For example, I use Twitter and LinkedIn as my professional platforms, and maintain a Facebook account for my personal connections.’
Establish your expertise
When you’re posting on your professional profiles, try to share things that position you as an expert in your field.
So if you’re all about wellness, share great articles on the topic, post about how you stay healthy, and so on.
‘Today, I have a large social media following as a world-renowned futurist and thought leader in technology and business, but I originally got started by simply sharing relevant news stories about my industry,’ Bernard explains. ‘I still share curated content today, and it helps me continue to build my following.
‘To find news stories, subscribe to industry newsletters, follow the most popular blogs in your industry, and set up Google alerts for relevant keywords.’
Bernard recommends: ‘Once you’ve started sharing content, be proactive by commenting on their posts, reaching out with connection requests, and emailing people about jobs.
‘Every week, you can identify individuals in your field that you want to connect with, and reach out to them with short personal messages.
‘Join industry groups and make yourself known by engaging with posts, sharing other people’s content, and answering questions.’
Choose a great profile picture
It’s well worth getting a professional headshot taken, or getting a pal to snap a pic of you looking professional.
‘In most cases, your profile image is the first thing recruiters and potential employers will see when they look you up on social media,’ Bernard suggests.
‘Upload an image that projects confidence and authority — preferably a professional headshot.
‘If you don’t have a headshot photo, arrange to have one taken as soon as possible, and in the meantime, use the most professional-looking snapshot you have.’
Dedicate some time to building your social media presence
Consistency is key here. You don’t need to spend hours a day working on your LinkedIn, but a little time each day will keep your profile looking strong and your connections building.
‘Finding the perfect job will take time, so arrange your schedule so you can work on social media tasks a little bit every day,’ Bernard notes. ‘This process doesn’t need to eat up all your time, but you should have a list of daily tasks like publishing content, answering questions in groups, and reaching out to people you want to connect with.
‘Building your social media presence will help you build momentum and stand out to recruiters and companies who are looking to hire star candidates just like you.’
Bernard Marr is a futurist, award-winning business author and strategic advisor to many of the world’s best-known organisations. His new book, Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World is out now, published by Wiley (priced at £18.99).
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