24 Apr 2017

Now that you’re ready to wave goodbye to your university campus and get on the career ladder, you might be interested in how you can use social media for more than posting selfies from your nights out, or sharing memes and gifs that your friends have posted.

Some social media platforms can be great for casual updates, but did you know you could be using these networks to help land your dream job after graduation? I’ve put together 5 social media tips that could help you to kick start your career; all you need to do is read them and try them out for yourself!

Get on LinkedIn

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, now might be the right time to join the other 433 million members across 200 countries and territories around the world. LinkedIn exists to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”.

When you register on LinkedIn, you will be encouraged to fill in a certain amount of information to populate your profile, which is effectively an online CV. You’ll have more flexibility than a couple of bits of paper though, as you can add other forms of media such as SlideShare presentations, images, videos and links to other relevant resources of yours online.

Please make sure you take the time to write a unique summary about yourself on your profile, this is your opportunity to talk about what you are interested in, your experience (work experience, jobs, volunteering) and thus present your skill set to potential employers. This is your online elevator pitch – so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity.

And don’t just list your experience, make sure you provide some detail about your responsibilities in each role – again utilising the opportunity to outline your experience and skill set.

Network on LinkedIn

Establishing your profile on LinkedIn is just the start; once you’re happy with everything you’ve added, you can then move on to other aspects of the network.

This is the key word here, as LinkedIn is built around the concept of being a network for professionals. That means you can use the “Interests” menu in the top navigation bar to identify companies, groups and online courses that are relevant to you. You can also set preferences in the “Jobs” area that will highlight jobs that are most targeted to your interests and needs, such as location and experience level.

Expand your direct network by using “My Network” to find alumni from your university, school, college or sixth form and people you may know, based on other people you have connected with previously.

Get on Twitter

Quite different, but rewarding in its own way is Twitter. This network won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to register to and set up, but if you aren’t familiar with it, it could take a little longer to get the hang of.

When you create an account on Twitter, you’ll need to pick a username (this dictates the URL used to access your profile) – it will need to be something that isn’t currently registered by another user. You may need to incorporate initials or an industry term if you have a popular name. But remember once you have chosen your name you are stuck with it, so choose wisely and choose one that will continue to represent you as you grow in your career.

Be active on Twitter

Once you’re all set up, or you’ve managed to log into a profile you set up years ago, start discovering what the network really has to offer. Use the search functionality to explore topics relevant to the field you’re wishing to get into; this way you may discover conversations and chats with a particular hashtag, as well as users who frequently tweet about that topic.

When you start following the right people, both normal industry folk and companies, you’ll find more and more relevant content delivered to your home feed. Keep your eye out for job openings shared by those you follow, as well as promoted posts which might also open up some opportunities.

Explore the rest of the web

After establishing yourself on these networks, you can go even further. Why not create a personal website where you can link to all of your active professional social networks? Or you could identify the forums and industry publications that are most relevant to you and begin to engage with other users and content that is published there.