Chances are strong you came across this blog post via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, and that’s not surprising. The average American spends more than two hours a day on social media platforms, according to a recent Digital Information World article. But are your online sessions helping your career prospects or hurting them?
Thoughtful and strategic online engagement can raise your profile with hiring managers and boost your professional reputation. That’s true not just on LinkedIn, which is used by a whopping 93% of companies for hiring, but also on Twitter, Facebook, and even more socially-tinged sites like Instagram and Pinterest.
Getting ‘Linked’ is Just the Beginning
Building a winning profile on LinkedIn is a great first step to get noticed, but what else can you to highlight your skills and get attention from recruiters or hiring managers? Here are some tips for structuring your online engagement to boost your career prospects.
1. Be Consistent
We’ve all heard stories of job candidates who didn’t get the job because their online presence wasn’t squeaky clean. But employers who check your social profiles (and the majority of them do) may be equally dismayed if you aren’t actively posting. Regular updates and engagement show that you’re digitally-adept and tracking tech trends.
2. Set Engagement Goals
Build professional social habits. Set aside time each week specifically to research trends and engage in conversations online. Set attainable targets, such as making out three industry-related tweets a week or commenting on four LinkedIn articles posted by leading analysts or companies in your space. Also consider a social media management tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or SocialOomph to track your progress: they’re not just for companies.
3. Consolidate your Sources
Bouncing around industry news sources aimlessly wastes your time and attention. Instead, start to cultivate a specific list of influencers, analysts, companies, and news sources to track. A tool like Feedly helps you organize and keep up with topics that interest you. You can also develop Twitter lists and create Google alerts for people and companies.
4. Ask for Help
We recommend asking for one or two LinkedIn recommendations from colleagues and business contacts each quarter. These serve as both a trust symbol and an SEO enhancement, so be sure to offer to reciprocate. Another tip is to ask your professional network for input on a business or career question. People love to give advice – it makes them feel important! Alumni associations and industry networking groups will be especially helpful here.
5. Join the Conversation
Getting engaged doesn’t always have to be formal or calculated. Love a blog you read online? Share it with your network. Read about a contact’s promotion or business launch? Reach out to congratulate them. Have direct experience navigating a technical topic covered in a trade journal? Make a comment or reach out to the author. If you’ve got a unique point of view, add to the dialogue.
6. Speak Up
Seek out opportunities to share your expertise with others. You can start small—local non-profits or Meetup groups often seek out speakers for local events and meetings—and work your way up to company events or national conferences. Another tactic is to demonstrate your skills via video. Posting tips, tricks, and techniques on YouTube or your own personal site makes you seem both knowledgeable and accessible.
7. Promote Yourself
Maintain one centralized hub for your personal brand, whether that’s your LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio. That’s where you should curate a selection of initiatives that demonstrate your capabilities. Think of your posts on this platform as personal case studies, where others can quickly assess your contributions, skills, and personality. On the flip side, make sure to list your active social profiles on this site, as well as your resume.
Building healthy social habits takes time, but it pays off in building your network and uncovering hidden career opportunities. Make the most out of your time online and engage your way to a better career.