Using social media to network

Using social media to network

Social media is the most popular way of networking with family and friends in your locality as well as globally. Everyone exchanges support and information. In addition to colleagues at your work place, friends and family and existing professional relationships, you can build contacts and understanding through social media networking. Here are some sites to consider:

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. Twitter offers a great way to find out about an organisation’s culture and whether it is a place you would want to work. You can share your own knowledge, experiences and passions about your areas of interest via your tweets, becoming an active member in industry related discussions and making useful contacts.

Facebook is an online social networking service that connects people, to keep up with friends, upload photos, share links and videos. It has over 1.1 billion users (March 2013). FB as it’s usually referred to is widely used as a personal networking site, so consider whether you want an employer to view your Facebook profile. You can join job search groups and various industry specific groups. For example, the Facebook icon on the bottom left hand side of my website goes straight to my Facebook page where you can find useful information about how to create an interview winning CV.

LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. It has an estimated 200 million users in over 200 countries and is the top professional networking site. After creating your profile you are able to link with your existing networks and their networks. LinkedIn includes a job search function as well as a number of other features which can help you to find work. If you have a passion or an interest in a specific industry/area, then join associated groups that often have job posting too.

YouTube is a video-sharing website, created in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos with the people that matter to them. It is estimated that people watch 3 billion videos a day on YouTube. It is the second largest search engine after Google and hosts a lot of careers advice. Depending on your filming abilities and the industry/area you are interested in, you can upload a short two-to-three minute video highlighting your key skills and attributes.

A word of advice, if you are signed up to groups, and in particular on Facebook or Twitter, please remember that employers can also see you. So think about this when uploading profile pictures or tweeting about how many interviews you have or how much you disliked your previous employer.