You may already be using Facebook and Twitter to chat with your friends and organise your social life, but are you using it to develop your career?
Many UK-based organisations use social media in their recruitment processes. They use social media to:
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Read our blog on how to use virtual connections for real world success
Log out of all your social media accounts and then Google yourself. Use quotation marks to get more relevant search results and if you have a popular name add your location or date of birth. For example: "Joe Thompson" Nottingham. Identify which profiles are yours in the search results. What you see is what potential employers will see.
Create a list of active profiles and decide whether you'd like to use them for professional or personal use. You may encounter some old accounts that need deleting.
You don't have to use every social media platform professionally. If you want to keep some accounts for personal use, that's completely fine. Just protect your privacy. If instagram is your scrap book of nights out, make your account private. Having a social life isn't a crime, but you don't need to expose it to potential employers. Same goes if you want to keep Facebook personal; check your privacy settings are set to 'Friends only'.
The next thing to think about is what you want to achieve from social media. Do you want to use it to job hunt? Do you want employers to be able to seek you out? Do you want to build an online portfolio to display your photography? Set three goals and plan actions to achieve them.
When it comes to your career, your social media presence isn't complete without a LinkedIn profile. Very basically, it is your digital CV. Like Facebook, you can personalise you profile page, but on LinkedIn it's all about your professional experience and achievements.
Once you have optimised your profile, you can start to make connections. Search out other students, lecturers, graduates, recruiters you've met at careers fairs, and work colleagues. This is a great way to develop your netowrking skills without the pressure of face-to-face interaction.
Your professional headline is one of the first elements of your profile that LinkedIn users will see and so it's important to get it right.
Find out from Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager, how to create a headline to capture attention.
Are you using LinkedIn to make contacts and search for job vacancies? Then you'll need a strong personal summary.
Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager, outlines the five steps to take to impress your audience.
Are you looking to make connections on LinkedIn? To ensure you get positive responses to your request, follow the three P's!
Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager, talks you through the three P's.
Blog: LinkedIn for job huntingBlog: Ensuring your social media profiles create a positive impression
Visit the LinkedIn help pages for guides on how to make the most of the site
Social Media Profile Checker from SALT agency
Read: 'How to Network in College' for tips
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