Social Media for Success
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives and brands have never been more active in the digital environment. Graduates need to make the most of these modern tools and might not fully grasp the potential benefits of social media. We explored 4 of the most popular social media sites to see how you can use this to improve your graduate job hunt.
Facebook offers a chance to create a more personal connection with potential employers. We're not suggesting you go straight for the "+Add Friend" option, but rather use Facebook as a tool to gather information. If you can locate the hiring manager or someone in the department you're applying to, you might be able to see if you have something in common. Perhaps a mutual friend, a shared interest, a group you both belong to - whatever it is, you may be able to use it in a phone call or interview to forge a more personal connection.
But a word of caution - it's easy to overdo it on Facebook stalking, so keep it light and don't get too personal.
- A part of a community
Groups are a vital part of Facebook's social approach, allowing users to share thoughts and links relating to a particular subject. Depending on what you're looking to do, there are options to learn more about your chosen industry, and even opportunities to solicit real-world advice from those who have been there, done that and are now wearing the t-shirt to work.
- Learn more about companies
Facebook has grown beyond a personal networking site and expanded to harness businesses. Much like Twitter, almost every business has a Facebook page to enhance brand awareness and interact with customers.
What makes this so brilliant? These pages offer a consistent overview of a company's brand and identity all wrapped up in one place. But don't just give them a "Like" and move on - look through everything they post and really think about what it tells you about them as a company. This is all information you can use to impress.
- You are what you tweet
Twitter/X is an incredible tool because it allows you to create and develop your personal brand through what you tweet, retweet and share. It also enables you to network and build up a community of like-minded individuals.
One of the best ways to capitalise on this in your job search is to make sure your Twitter feed highlights your interest in your chosen field. Whether you're retweeting interesting articles, or even contributing your own, Twitter/X is the perfect platform to demonstrate your commitment to your career as well as your awareness of the industry's developments and directions.
Getting on the hashtag hype can be a wonderful way to make a name for yourself. A key way to do this is to get involved in Twitter/X Chats-these are community-based discussion groups using a singular hashtag topic.
Within your specialised lists, look to see if employers are participating in or planning a Twitter/X Chat, and think about what you might be able to contribute. This can also be a brilliant way to learn more about an industry and get a feel for the way it operates.
- Take it off Twitter/X
The positive benefits of Twitter are many, but there is a limit to how much you can accomplish in 140 characters.
When you reach out and make industry connections, try and transition your talks over to email or a phone call - or better yet, actually meet up! You may be surprised how many people are open to meeting up for a chat in exchange for a coffee or a pint.
Switching the dialogue to a different platform will make it much easier to take things forward. Even if the company you are following doesn't currently have a vacancy, talking to industry professionals can be an excellent way to learn about the career you're interested in, as well as an opportunity to gain first-hand advice on how to get there.
- Identity yourself
Similar to other social sites, Instagram is most useful as a tool for building and cultivating your personal brand. As such, you should consider carefully what you post on your account. You may want to set up a separate professional account with a collection of approved and appropriate images that you would be okay with an employer seeing.
Take advantage of Instagram and create an identity focused on what you want to do. Making use of your Bio to show other users and potential employers what you do and who you are-150 characters isn't much, but by being succinct and clear you can convey a surprising amount of relevant information.
While it might not be considered “traditional” to include your Instagram feed on your CV, that's the way graduate recruitment is heading - so don't be afraid to be ahead of the curve.
- It's all about the network
Follow the kinds of companies you'd like to work for. Find individuals who have the kind of job you want. Comment on their feeds, like their photos, and build a network. Being active in the online community will help you stay ahead of the curve.
You can learn a lot about a company by what they post to their social media accounts, and you never know when that knowledge might come in handy-particularly if you are approaching an interview with a specific organisation.
- Show off your skills
There's a lot of content out there in the world of Instagram. To make your account stand out, you need to give people a reason to pause. Find a way to catch their eye, and then keep them interested. Whatever it is that you do, Instagram can help you show it off.
The key is to be consistent with your visual aesthetic and the tone of your posts. Look at how the celebrities of Instagram do it and make the most of all the free photo editing apps out there to create your own visually distinctive look.