Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: The Forgotten Social Networks
We tend to think of sites like Instagram and Twitter as places to connect with friends or look at pictures of cats, but they can also be one the best places for budding professionals to develop their career. Your social profiles can either be a powerful networking tool -- or the reason you didn’t get the job.
Twitter: Be a Part of the Conversation
Twitter is used by all types of industry experts, headhunters, and hiring managers. As with LinkedIn, you can start using Twitter to expand your career options by finding people relevant to your industry. Follow them and engage with them in the hopes of establishing a relationship. Sometimes, just getting in on the conversation can be all it takes to find a job.
As with LinkedIn groups, keep an eye out for Twitter lists. People use them to connect with industry leaders, monitor competitors, and maintain relationships. For many industries, hashtags can be just as useful. Industry conferences or brand-specific hashtags are a treasure-trove of conversations. Tags like these are where you’ll find interactions that can ultimately lead to a job:
Facebook: Personal or Professional?
Just about everyone uses Facebook, including more than 65 million businesses. Take the time to follow a few companies that you want to work with. This can help you stay in-the-know on any changes in the company and industry. These pages are also where you’ll find out if there’s a conference, local event, or another networking opportunity coming up.
Although Facebook isn’t quite as professional-oriented as LinkedIn, it’s still a good idea to keep your work history up to date. Most importantly, that includes an accurate depiction of your job title. If a recruiter or potential employer is reviewing your page, you’ll want to make sure it has more to say than “student.”
If you'd prefer to keep your Facebook life personal, make sure that your other social channels are developed professionally. Hiring managers often aren't surprised to find that a Facebook page is locked down. Everyone is entitled to their personal lives, just make sure your spring break pictures are set to "friends only."
Instagram: Get Ahead of the Game
Instagram might seem like the black sheep of this list, but any opportunity to connect with industry professionals is a valuable opportunity. There’s an added bonus if you work in a visual field and can document your achievements on your profile, but that’s far from necessary. Truthfully, the best way to use Instagram is to study the company you want to work for (and its culture) as a way to get hired. If you happen to land an interview, being able to ask timely, relevant questions about the company can show that you’re genuinely engaged, and that you’d be a great fit for their team.
Some businesses have official Instagram pages, but many don’t. For those that don’t, try using LinkedIn to find a few people who work for a company you’re interested in. Select half a dozen employees, and see what you can learn from browsing their profiles. You can use this as a better idea of how to make a personal connection during an interview. Do they love board games? Is there a regular trivia night? Getting answers to those types of questions can help you and an interviewer connect on a more personal level.
But don't be surprised if you find that a company has an Instagram page. As the platform becomes more popular, companies are eager to get in the game. Many people don't think of Instagram as a way to connect with a potential employer, so you may find yourself with much less competition than other social platforms.
Pick One Or All Three, Just Get Going!
You can increase the chances of a job recruiter reaching out to you by taking some basic steps towards optimizing your social media profiles. When someone is browsing through an internet search, they’re making split second decisions about whether or not to click something. The first impressions someone gets of your profile photo and biography have drastic impact on how clickable your profile will be.
Last but not least, remember to take the time to review all your social media pages for inappropriate content or off-color humor you’ve used in the past. Having unprofessional content on your pages will ward away many people from working with you. Many of these additions might seem minor, but every bit counts because you’ll never know where your next job opportunity is coming from.
PS- Have you checked out our tips for building up a stellar LinkedIn profile? If not, you're missing out!