In our modern world, it’s impossible not to notice social media. Perfect for keeping in touch with friends, staying up-to-date on current news, and following our favourite brands, social networks are a fixture in our daily lives. But when it’s time to advance your career, these resources have proven to be equally useful!
Whether you’re a new graduate looking for your first job or an experienced professional that’s looking to advance your IT career, social media can significantly accelerate your job search. To use it properly and get the most out of the experience, we’ve prepared a few steps for you to follow.
step 1: double-check and polish your public profiles
Thanks to search engines, employers can quickly access your social profiles to learn more about you and your lifestyle. In fact, you can be sure that recruiters and hiring managers will be looking you up before offering you an interview or a job. It is therefore essential for your online presence to put forth a professional image.
If you have personal social profiles (Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc.), make sure that whatever you’ve published is appropriate. To conduct a proper review, use a computer where you are not logged into your accounts, and search your name on Google. Take a look at the search results and the images tab. If you’re concerned about certain things you’ve found, you will need to delete them or modify the security settings associated with the relevant account.
step 2: jump into linkedin
With over 500 million members, LinkedIn is the most important social network dedicated to professional life. It is an invaluable tool for self-promoting, getting found, and jumpstarting your career advancement. Just think: 90% of recruiters say that they actively use LinkedIn to find candidates as part of their recruitment efforts. With a well-rounded profile, you can be seen by people that are looking for your skill set!
Here are a few tips to take full advantage of the platform:
- Use a professional photo. LinkedIn isn’t the place to post a selfie from your trip to the beach or a rowdy rock concert. A simple, well-lit photo will do the trick. This picture is likely to serve as a barometer to measure your professionalism, so treat it as a key element of your first impression to hiring managers.
- Build a strong profile. In your summary text, make sure you are using precise keywords from jobs that interest you. For example, if you are a web programmer, integrate your title and the technology you work with throughout your profile. If you have any certifications, list them in the appropriate areas. If you have experience in a particular industry, mention it and provide details. You should also list the languages and software you’ve mastered, as well as your comfort level using each one.
- Subscribe to web and IT groups. Recruiters will often check discussion groups to discover active, passionate professionals in a specific industry. Your participation within these groups will elevate your profile, so don’t hesitate to subscribe and contribute by sharing your expertise and relevant findings. You'll see – it’s an excellent way to build up your network.
- Follow influencers. Follow bloggers, startup CEO’s, and leading companies in your domain. This will keep you up-to-date on industry trends and the market’s evolution.
Once your profile is rounded out and your network is well-organized, you will need to develop the habit of checking LinkedIn each week. In the beginning, if you’re not used to it, it won’t feel like a natural part of your day. But after a little while, you’ll discover the network’s many benefits and opportunities for career advancement.
want more advice to improve your linkedin profile?
step 3: live the tech buzz in real-time with twitter
When something happens in the web or tech industry, Twitter is often where you’ll hear about it first! It’s a super powerful way to stay connected to everything that’s going on. For IT professionals, Twitter has become a very valuable tool. Careful, though – it can be time-consuming.
With Twitter, you should follow your interests, seeking out influencers and public figures that you’re interested in following. You can even react to their Tweets and engage in real-time conversations. Plus, following important events (like an Apple product launch or a Microsoft conference) is easy as pie when you’re using a dedicated hashtag. If you’ve never experimented with Twitter, now is the time to try it!
step 4: explore forums and communities
Forums and communities dedicated to specific web and tech subjects are perfect spaces for building your network. Quora and Reddit, for example, allow you to share your expertise and opinions with people in your industry. Take a look at the sub-categories that touch on your skills and specific interests, and you’ll find a world bubbling with interaction!
Always be respectful in your posts, and try to be as helpful as possible. On the other hand, you can also ask questions and receive the kind of support that is unique to these types of communities.
step 5: share your knowledge in a blog
If you have the time to give, starting a blog is an excellent way to let your skills shine. You probably follow a bunch of tech blogs, so why not join in on publishing articles about the things you love?
As an IT worker, you’ll have no problem setting up your blog. The key to success lies in persistent publishing and regular content, of course, but also in choosing a precise niche that will interest a specific audience. With proper keyword integration, you have the ability to send your blogs to the top of the search results list, garnering tons of visibility. Make sure to add an “about” page that provides an overview of your professional life, as well as links towards your social profiles.
Your blog is a strong asset in building your personal brand, and your efforts are bound to be rewarded during your career. Don't forget to share your articles in LinkedIn and your other networks to maximize their reach.
Your digital presence is a reflection of your professional self and requires ongoing care. The more time you invest, the more you’ll get out of it!