Social media changes rapidly and there are new ways of leveraging it in your job search. Social media trends in 2014 include a focus on visual content, new tools for LinkedIn users, and a need for all employees to possess social media skills. Apply these three current social media trends to your job search with the following strategies:
Showcase Your Work Visually
Pictures and video are dominating all social networks. Newer social networks like Pinterest and Instagram were built around visual content. Older networks – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – are quickly adapting.
Portfolios have long been a staple in creative fields, such as graphic design. Today, no matter your career field, presenting your work in a visual manner is an easy way to enhance employers’ impressions of you.
For example, use SlideShare to showcase project presentations. Take screenshots of a successful social media campaign you implemented for an organization or internship. Then create your own online portfolio using services such as WordPress or Weebly. Even better, leverage LinkedIn’s capabilities and upload content directly to your profile. Transform your LinkedIn profile from simple resume to a dynamic professional tool.
Become a Thought Leader in Your Field
Speaking of LinkedIn, take advantage of LinkedIn’s new publishing platform to write about topics relevant to your career. LinkedIn Influencers have been writing and gaining traction with their content. Now, it’s your turn.
Blogging, whether you use LinkedIn or another platform, builds your professional brand. You can share your knowledge and spark conversation among your followers. Plus, blogging is an excellent way to show off your writing skills – important for any professional.
What do you write about? For professional branding, choose topics that relate to your current job. What are the hot topics in your field and what do you have to say about them? You can also write about other topics you find interesting. If you work in marketing but have a strong interest in community service, you could write about the value of volunteerism in your career. Just make the connection between the topics you write about and your professional brand – past, present, and future. And, of course, share your posts across social networks.
Present “Real” Social Media Skills
Social media is no longer the sole responsibility of one employee in an organization. All employees must have basic skills in social media, understanding how to use different platforms and how to use them appropriately. Many organizations have or are moving towards having social media policies, and some companies may provide social media training to employees. You become a valuable asset to an organization when you come in with these skills already developed.
Presenting “real” social media skills goes beyond simply saying that you know how to use Facebook. At this point in time, everyone knows how to use Facebook. Now, it’s important to qualify your skills.
If you have had the opportunity to manage a social media account for a company or organization, provide specific details about what you did and what you achieved. Other options would be to seek a social media certificate or attend a professional seminar on social media strategy and management. Either way, showcase your work through screenshots or blog about it!
This article was contributed by Laura Morrow-Jacobs. Morrow-Jacobs is Marketing Communications Coordinator for The Badger Group, a marketing agency in Fort Atkinson, WI. Prior to working for The Badger Group, Laura spent seven years as a career counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and worked extensively with students on using social media in their careers.