Simple ways to improve your employability with social media

May 01, 2017
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Whether you’re waiting for public transport, procrastinating from doing assignments, avoiding awkward small talk, or sleuthing your way through someone’s Instagram and Facebook with surgical precision, there’s no denying that social media has fast become an integral part of our everyday lives. In fact, according to a 2016 survey conducted by Sensis, the average Australian spends around 12.5 hours a week on Facebook alone. That’s basically the whole first season of 13 Reasons Why!

We’ve all heard the cautionary tales about folks who have either lost their jobs or weren’t hired because of their social media posts, but as Sir Isaac Newton once said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. So, if social media has the power to get you fired, then it must also have the power to get you hired, right?  OK, an employer might not hire you on the dot just because of your killer selfie, but like anything else in life, if you take the right approach, social media can open up a lot of new doors for you.

Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes

As much as we deny it, we’ve all found ourselves meticulously scrolling through someone’s social media profile at least once. One minute you’re liking their latest status update, the next, you’ve travelled seven years back in time where Suzy, their second cousin once removed, got married to Andrew. Lurking on a private individual’s Facebook profile is creepy, but delving deep into your dream employer’s official Facebook page is smart.

According to Sensis, up to 79 per cent of large businesses and 48 per cent of small to medium businesses use social media. Besides paid advertising, the most common way companies use social media is to regularly post original content promoting their brand. Everything on an organisation’s social media page has been carefully curated to reflect their values and unique identity. So, if you channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and do a little bit of snooping around, you’ll be able to pick up on various little details about the company, that’ll bring you one step closer to being hired.

There’s so much you can learn about a company from their social media page, and it’s all right there in your hands, free of charge!

Everything on an organisation’s social media page has been carefully curated to reflect their values and unique identity.

Start a conversation

So, you’ve cyber-stalked the crap out of your dream company, and have become one with their brand. You speak their lingo, and you know exactly what type of image they want to portray to the public. What next?

Well, according to the Harvard Business Review, we should focus on generating our own content that’s related to the industry or organisation we want to be a part of.  

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, choose one or two public social media platforms that will focus on highlighting your interests in your chosen area of profession. Then, slowly start to actively contribute to the conversations happening in that field.

Don’t just say that you work in business or study science. Show the world how passionate and actively engaged you are by sharing relevant industry articles alongside your own commentary and insight into a specific topic.

Most importantly, follow the social media pages of experts and leaders of your chosen industry, and pay attention to what they’re talking about. And if you have something to say, then tweet at them and join in their conversation. One of social media’s greatest advantages is that you don’t need to have decades of industry work experience to get involved in a conversation.

Show the world how passionate and actively engaged you are by sharing relevant industry articles alongside your own commentary and insight into a specific topic.

Let your personality shine

Just because you’re looking to impress potential employers and land your dream job, it doesn’t mean you have to mute your personality on social media. Celebrate your own unique abilities and try to highlight how they can be beneficial to your industry.

Have a knack for wordplay? Why not draw attention to it by tweeting witty commentary? Love design or photography? Why not create a visually captivating Instagram post about an important industry topic you’re passionate about? Show people why they should pay attention to you instead of the thousands of other people who have exactly the same degree or certificate.

Although social media may be a huge influential force, don’t forget that it can only get you so far. There’s no point in putting so much time and effort into gathering a virtual following and having hundreds of LinkedIn contacts if you can’t do anything in the real world.  Social media can certainly open doors for you, but it can’t make you walk through them.

Zaya Altangerel

Zaya is a current student of journalism and science at Monash University, who has proudly mastered the art of laughing at herself and not taking life too seriously.

Image: Please Like Me. official Facebook page

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