How to Leverage Social Media to Advance Your Career

Social Media Week

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By Phil Wocken

Whether you’re happily employed or actively seeking your next career opportunity, you should make sure your social media presence is always ready to catch the attention of executive recruiters, corporate recruiters and hiring managers looking to hire you for your dream job.

Follow these tips to make sure you’re always positioned as a desirable candidate, even if you’re not actively looking.

Have an opinion and share it

Social media gives you an unfiltered platform to showcase your subject-matter expertise. Use LinkedIn, Twitter or maybe even start a blog to share your opinions on topics like Facebook’s recent organic reach decline or what the father of Google+’s departure from Google means for the platform’s future.

This is also your chance to expand your skill set and learn something new. If your focus has only been in community management and you want to expand into paid social, take some time to learn about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ads. By having an opinion and sharing it on social media, you’ll instantly become a more qualified candidate for a related opportunity. To begin learning a new skill, attend industry events, take an online class, follow a new industry blog or take a mentor to lunch.

Always be in maintenance mode

Don’t wait until you’re in job-seeking mode before you update your LinkedIn profile, page, blog or online portfolio. You’re likely being passed over for potential opportunities because you haven’t included a newly acquired skill or the results from a successful social media promotion.

And also, it’s tough to remember all the success you attained from that successful campaign from two years ago. As soon as you complete a project of which you’re proud, make sure you document it online so you don’t have to remember all of the details later. Your memory will thank you as you reference your online profiles to update your resume at a later date.

Be as specific as possible

Your LinkedIn profile and other profile pages are digital copies of your resume, so treat them as such. Executive recruiters, corporate recruiters and hiring managers don’t like profiles that are full of vague or empty stats. Spell out specific metrics that moved the needle. If you grew a Facebook fanbase by 50,000 fans in four months, or ideated and executed a social media promotion that led to $100,000 in new sales, make sure you list that on your profiles. If you grew Twitter followers from 500 to 1,200 in a year, don’t say that you grew Twitter followers by 140%. It’s an empty stat that tarnishes the credibility of any other significant metrics.

Also, give and take credit where credit is due. It’s okay to be a little selfish. If you were the one responsible for creating the strategy that led to all of that success, take credit. Conversely, if it truly was a team effort, note that and detail what role you played (it also shows that you’re a team player).

Keep it professional and positive

If you’re reading this blog and planning to attend Social Media Week, you already know this one. Social media is not a place to air grievances or insult or put down anybody or any company. It doesn’t do anyone any good, and it tarnishes your employability. Keep it professional and positive, and you’ll be in much better shape when you’re being recruited.

Social media is an increasingly valuable tool that recruiters and hiring managers are leveraging to find the best talent. Use it to your advantage by making sure that your social media profiles are recruiter-ready. Would you rather say, “No, thanks.” to an opportunity, or never have been contacted in the first place? You never know when that blog post or tweet could lead to your dream job.


Phil Wocken is an executive recruiter specializing in digital marketing and social media at TalentFoot Executive Search. If you have a hiring need or are seeking your next opportunity, you can find him on Twitter @pwocken or pwocken[at]talentfoot[dot]com.

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