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How the social media sphere can grow your career

social media

When Facebook first launched at Harvard University in 2004, over 1,200 students had signed up within 24 hours.  Today, there are over 1.01 billion daily active users.

Social media now permeates our lives in more ways than we could have ever imagined just a decade ago, and for some, being engaged online is a full-time affair.

Initially used for connecting with friends and family, organisations large and small soon picked up on the business benefits. Today, students and professionals cannot ignore its fundamental value in enhancing education, finding lucrative job opportunities, and building lifelong connections.

Here are 6 ways that social media can help you discover new and exciting career opportunities.

1.       Network without borders

Probably the most obvious advantage of getting connected online, is the ability to put yourself in contact with thousands of like-minded professionals all over the world. Never before has networking become so instantaneous. You can easily apply for jobs, get in touch with alumni, or seek career advice using a multitude of social media sites. Join a professional group on Facebook or retweet a post from an industry insider on Twitter to make the most of your networking efforts. The more exposure you have online, the easier it is for you to build valuable contacts.  

2.       Find a mentor

Finding a mentor today is a lot easier than it once was – you can easily interact with leaders in your industry by sharing their content on Google+, commenting on one of their LinkedIn posts, or endorsing them on a Twitter chat using the @mentions feature. Over time, once you feel you have developed a connection, you can request a short-term or long-term mentorship. As long as you initiate contact, remain committed and show your appreciation for their time – the professional guidance you receive will be rewarding for both you and your mentor.

3.       Subscribe to a blog

If you want to stay updated on the latest trends, be informed of new job opportunities, or find out what your peers are up to – then subscribing to a blog is the perfect way to keep you informed. You can sign up for blogs written by experts in your current industry, or one that you’re interested in joining, and get new updates delivered straight to your inbox. Best of all, comment features allow you to start a conversation with bloggers, and potentially build new professional relationships.

4.       Start a Facebook or LinkedIn group

Whether you’re looking for recommended reading materials or need some advice on the best way to pitch an idea to your boss – social networking groups are a great way to gather and share thoughts, stories, tips and feedback with industry professionals from all over the world. Plus, the advice you disperse to others will add to your online credibility, thus increasing your online authority.

5.       Build a professional profile

One of the perks to having an online resume or CV is the ability to cater it to your audience. Adding specific keywords will increase your exposure on sites like LinkedIn when recruiters are searching for potential candidates with your skills. Plus, people in your professional circle can learn about your passions, interests and personality through the pages you like, groups you subscribe to, and endorsements you receive from previous employers and colleagues.

6.       Find unique employment opportunities

When you’re connected online, you’re exposed to a whole new pool of professional opportunities right at your fingertips. On Twitter, you can search and trail hashtags that are applicable to you: #internships, #graduatejobs, or #marketing, for example. On LinkedIn, you can follow recruiters from companies you’re interested in, and you’ll be among the first to know when they’re hiring for new talent. Additionally, you can use Facebook to pin down alumni groups to get in touch with graduates who can provide you with sound career advice.

So, if you’re looking to expand your career options, don’t forget to take full advantage of the professional networking and educational opportunities the social media sphere has to offer you!