It would be stating the obvious to say Social Media whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Google+ has changed the way we communicate with people, do business or even secure employment. We are now able to reach out to each other far more easily than ever before. However before you reach out to anyone in a personal or professional capacity – Especially in the professional consider the following five tips.
- You are what you tweet.
A play on an old phrase ‘You are what you eat’. Even though you are connecting with people online, it is wise to avoid being too casual (unless you know the person well), more so if submitting yourself for a job online. Today, your LinkedIn presence is essentially your CV/Résumé or a website if you have one. Again it is wise to take the time to design and organise your profile, describing your accomplishments (both personal and professional,) because recruiters are watching. Also carefully consider the kind of brand you are presenting and the information you will be sharing across your online platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Even your profile photos should reflect the image you want to communicate – This is something actors know only too well – so it may be worth hiring a photographer to take a professional headshot.
Do your homework. It is still surprising how many of us don’t do this. Should you be lucky to get an interview, ensure you do your research beforehand. Again LinkedIn is a great resource for keeping up with movements within a company and also learning about the career paths and expertise of the people who might be interviewing you. Also check out company profile pages and Facebook and Twitter profiles to get up to speed on industry news and trends. Also don’t forget to ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ organisations you are interested in working for in the future.
- Give as much as you take
There are always ways of sharing one’s knowledge and expertise. Should you see articles that might be relevant to your ‘Network’, post a link in a status update or tweet that link. LinkedIn is quite good for joining industry-specific groups in order to participate in discussion threads. Be open to accepting invitations from new contacts and making introductions when appropriate. They say it is good ‘Career Karma’.
The worst thing one can do is to treat Social Media like some kind of financial transaction. That goes for person-to-person, face-to-face contact also.
- Take the conversation offline and somewhere else.
Unless you live in another town, city or the far side of the world, Social Media is just the beginning. Think of Social Media as a syndication tool for your brand. The best way of building that brand is through your work product and real world relationships that you will build and nurture – i.e. Syndication.