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What’s the best way to use social media sites for professional networking and job hunting? Check out our article, and we’ll tell you how to use social media to boost your career.
In today’s modern world, social media is everywhere. You can’t get away from it in your personal or professional life. So, as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them! But you may be thinking, what about the dangers of social media, and how can it be used professionally? Social media platforms do have many pitfalls to avoid, but if you are careful, you can leverage social media platforms to build your professional contacts and reputation.
In this article, we’ll explain how to use social media platforms professionally and how to best create an online presence that will benefit your career. Here are some of the topics we will cover:
What is professional networking versus social networking?
Which social media platform is best for professional networking?
How do you create a profile for professional networking?
Some do’s and don’ts for using social media for your career
What social media site should I use for professional networking?
How many people use social media for professional networking?
Worldwide, about 40% of all internet users say they use social media for professional purposes.
Social media is very broadly defined as any method of internet-based communication that allows people to interact and share information. Social networking is the use of social media to connect with others and professional networking, a subset of social networking, includes interactions with business, work, and any professional contacts.
All social media tools can be used for professional purposes, but the most popular website for professional networking is LinkedIn. It was originally designed for this purpose, and has been around for years. However, the biggest social media platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram are also used for professional interactions.
What is the most popular social media platform for professional networking?
X (formerly Twitter)
While LinkedIn is geared towards business communications, the other social media platforms are larger overall and heavily used for advertising and communicating with customers and potential new customers. X is also gaining ground as a tool for distributing video resumes.
Make a new or separate profile. You probably already have one or more social media accounts. Don’t be tempted to convert any of those into a professional profile. You can do this, but examine your profile history extremely closely; make sure the alias is appropriate for business and there is nothing in your old posts that you don’t want professional contacts to see. We recommend creating a separate profile. This will ensure you have a clean start and don’t have to worry about any past posts creating issues.
Stay up to date. Once you establish your online profile, keep it fresh. Post frequently and as much as you can. Don’t substitute quantity for quality, but do make sure that your posts are recent. A stale profile won’t impress anyone. Schedule time to sit down every week and create new content. It will be worth the effort in the long run.
Highlight your achievements and expertise. Use your content to tout your recent projects and accomplishments. Don’t brag, but there’s nothing wrong with talking about what you have done. Stick with the facts, be businesslike, and let people know about your good work.
Follow influencers. While you're building your content, also take some time to look around and find people who are leaders in your field. Study their posts and find people to follow that you’re impressed by. This can lead to making them contacts and building your network. Big influencers will have lots of followers, and this can also help you gain additional contacts that have similar interests.
Post and tag. This is related to building content and finding people to follow, but not quite the same thing. Create small posts just to let people know what you’re up to. While you’re reading other people’s posts, make comments when appropriate. Always be positive. Look to get into conversations because this can also lead to making additional contacts.
Keep it professional. Above all, make sure that every single post is appropriate and businesslike. The worst thing you can do is post something that is unrelated to business and is highly divisive. The internet never forgets. So always keep that in mind and assume that everyone in the world is going to read your posts.
This really depends on what platform you like to use. LinkedIn is by far the most popular site for professional networking, as that is its primary purpose. That being said, any of the social media platforms can be used for professional networking. Use whichever platform appeals to you and that you are most comfortable with. The crucial thing is that you keep up with your profile and post new content on a regular basis.
Looking for a new profession? Not sure which field to go into? Then check out our Explore Careers page to find the best new career for you.
Everyone uses social media, and you can leverage it for your career.
Selecting a media platform is easy. There are several to choose from.
Keep it professional.
Be active. Build your reputation and seek out new contacts.
Take advantage of your new network connections to advance your career!
Garland is a writer and technology consultant that lives in far west Texas, USA. He is semi-retired from a successful 25-year career in the Information Technology industry, and now spends his time writing for various websites (mostly career development related). Garland holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance, and a master’s degree in Economics and Computer Information Systems.