career development / Job market

Using social media to boost your employability

We all have different things we use social media for, for some of us, it’s a tool we use for checking out our exes, for some, friendship, some, a platform to share images of lunch and for others a networking tool. Social media is getting more instrumental in the workforce, a lot of hiring managers leverage it to advertise jobs, check out potential staff and in some cases recruit individuals. You can leverage upon it to boost your employability and find a job that you love and enjoy. The labour market is becoming increasingly competitive, and graduates must become more and more creative online, but, if you play your cards right, you might just be a few steps away from landing your dream job. On the flipside, if used carelessly, you could easily shoot yourself in the foot and harm your potential opportunities in the job market.

Does this excite you? Then keep reading, social media doesn’t only have to be a hobby or a leisure activity but a channel through which you can position yourself adequately for opportunities. At this point you might be wondering how, don’t worry, I won’t leave you in the dark for too long, here are a few ways that you can use social media to boost your employability.

1. Portray the right image

According to a survey by CareerBuilder in 2018, a whopping 70% of employers use social media to evaluate potential candidates through the hiring journey. So, first ensure that you have nothing posted online that you would not want hiring managers to see when they Google you. There is absolutely nothing worse and more discouraging than getting to the final lap in your assessment journey and getting disqualified because you were having a swig of Hennessey. So, yes, clean up your social media and tweak your privacy settings. Also, Google yourself from time to time in incognito mode so that you can visualize yourself through the employers’ eyes.

2. Build your personal brand

More than ever, it is highly pertinent to create a brand for yourself to stand out from the crowd and spotlight your skills, competencies, and career growth to date. Don’t be shy or scared to promote yourself unapologetically. For example, if you’re a writer, share links to articles and think pieces you have put together, and if you’re a developer, share links to websites you have created or a portfolio of your work. By doing this, hiring managers can easily visualize your capabilities and unique skills which would intrigue them even more.

3. Create a strategy

One of the most detrimental things to do is to go in blind. Come up with a process of going about your job search, this could be through various methods, you can position yourself as an expert in your field by providing thought leadership and participating in industry conversations and debates. This could also be through connecting with people working in your area, searching for vacancies online, following employers and making enquiries.

4. Show your personality online

The fact that you’re creating your personal brand does not mean that you must become boring and lose your intrigue and humour. Be polished but don’t lose your sense of self as you want to spotlight yourself as a well-rounded individual who colleagues will enjoy being around.

5. Identify what social media platforms work for you

You don’t have to be on every social media platform, just identify one or two that serve the purpose of what you are trying to achieve and go for them. Different industries in different countries have platforms where they are more popular so figure it out and develop a strategy that works for you. Also follow employers and thought leaders in the field as most of them post job opportunities directly.

6. Stay updated with industry news

Don’t forget that getting employed is a two-way street and the same way employers can find you online is the way you can explore the things they are up to also. So, stay updated with what they are up to, learn more about the company and the projects or happenings within them. This would boost your profile during the interview.

7. Let go of the cliché buzzwords

Ensure your social media profile is updated and let go of the ‘results-driven team player’ buzzwords. Incorporate some creativity, intrigue, and excitement to show your uniqueness and influence potential employers to bring you on board.

So, over to you champion, how will you be using social media differently after reading this post?

This blog was provided by Yomi Olusunle of Birmingham Global Shapers, a  group of young people driving dialogue, action and change in our community

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