During a discussion at Johnson & Wales University’s Third Annual Sports/Entertainment/Event Management Leadership Conference in Providence, professional panelist Mia Hall, a speaker and career transition consultant, reminded students that social media is a crucial tool that can be used to gain professional momentum.
“Social media builds your personal brand,” she said.
There are dozens of social platforms at your disposal and many are free and easy to use — but specific sites allow you to market yourself to the community like a company would do with their product. Social media is a great way to showcase your talents and résumé, while fostering community bonds and sharing your story with the world.
Here are several ways you can use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to your professional advantage:
Probably the most career-oriented platform, LinkedIn allows students and newly-minted professionals to interact with industry experts. Whether you’re a college senior looking for an internship or a seasoned businessman looking to expand your network, LinkedIn is a place where you can connect and grow as a professional.
Make sure to upload some of your original work (writing, photographs, etc.) and list all of your accomplishments, accolades and skills. Join LinkedIn groups based on organizations you’re interested in or the colleges you attended. Having these listed on your profile will give prospective employers an idea of what kind of person you are and what you can offer to their company.
LinkedIn is crucial — but don’t get hung up and forget about the other sites that can help shape your public persona. According to the industry professionals at JWU’s SEEM Leadership Conference, leveraging different types of social media will make you seem well-rounded, which is an advantage when it comes to finding a job.
Bonus Tip: Make sure to add a profile photo and as much personal information as you are comfortable with (this goes for all social platforms). Making it seem as though the profile represents an actual person — and not just a generic icon person — will help make your page more credible.
Click to Expand:
Many people use Facebook personally, but did you know you can use it to showcase your professional talents? If you have a skill that you wish to share, create a business page to promote it and allow people who are interested to contact you. For example, if you’re a photographer, post some of your photos to the page and make your contact information available in case someone wants to hire you.
Make sure to create some color on your page by mixing up the type of content you post. If every post is the same, people will get bored. Also, make sure to ask your followers questions in your posts; this can boost engagement.
Facebook is a great way to combine all of your efforts in one place and show the world what you can offer. Add examples of your music, link to your most recent articles and invite your friends to “Like” your page — and watch your following grow.
Bonus Tip: If you don’t think you need a professional page, make sure to clean up your personal page. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 60% of employers use social media to screen potential candidates. Remember: when you put it on the internet, it stays there forever.
If you’ve made yourself known on LinkedIn and created your own community on Facebook, make sure to leverage Twitter to keep in contact with your followers. Twitter is a great way to respond to and network with different people in all kinds of industries. Also, if it interests you, follow it! Make sure to browse hashtags and follow people who inspire you. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a connection that could help you in the future.
Because Twitter is so fast-paced, make sure you keep the momentum going. Twitter timelines can get stale quickly if the content isn’t engaging — or if you forget to post. Write a short bio and make sure to follow proper Twitter etiquette (hashtags, mentions, etc.) to get the most out of your experience.
Bonus Tip: If you don’t have a personal website, consider making one. There are so many free website-builder tools and having your own corner of the web to showcase your designs, music, fashion or writing will only improve your professional appearance. If you create one, make sure to link it to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
For more information on how Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education can help you pursue your career goals, contact us at 855-JWU-1881 or [email protected]. You can also fill out the “Request Info” form on this page.