Use social media to boost your career
It's usually dismissed as a hobby, but Facebook, Twitter and other platforms can actually help you move up the career ladder!
The invention of the Internet has created quite the juxtaposition for jobseekers today. The dramatic increase in accessibility to jobs worldwide has also meant an exponential increase in applications to each position advertised. In the 1990s, companies would receive approximately 30 applications per role. Now, they can receive up to 500. Toby Simpson, managing director of The Gulf Recruitment Group in Dubai, says: "Depending on the role, we can receive anywhere between 130 and 1000 applications to the positions we advertise online".
The stiff competition ultimately means jobseekers must make use of all the resources and tools at their fingertips to get ahead. And in today's world, one of the most powerful tools jobseekers can use is social media.
Social media is great when it comes to helping jobseekers get hired in two ways. Firstly, it can help you to identify job opportunities with your desired employers. Secondly, it can help increase your visibility to potential employers: bringing your personal brand and the value you can add to their business to their awareness.
Using social media to identify job opportunities
Social Media can be a valuable tool in identifying potential job openings. It can help you do this in three main ways:
Direct job advertisements
Companies are under constant pressure to keep costs down. As a result, many are now choosing to promote their vacancies on their Facebook and LinkedIn pages and Twitter feeds, as well as their company websites. By following your target list of companies on social media, you will see their available jobs as soon as they are advertised.
Companies will often announce key business updates via social media. New product launches, expansion plans, new branches or manufacturing plants, growth strategies, financial news etc -all of which could provide leads to potential job opportunities. For example, a new product launch could mean an increase in required headcount across sales, marketing, supply chain and finance. News of a record year in sales could mean further growth and more job opportunities to come. The announcement of someone leaving could mean a new job opening or a new leader who might want to restructure or build their team. Always read between the lines and see where there could be room for a hiring opportunity.
LinkedIn is a great way to identify the key people in the company who would appreciate the value you could add to their team. Once you know their names, you can start to think about all the ways you can connect with them and get your profile in front of them. Company updates can also often include news of interviews or new hires which can also provide useful names for your job search.
Using social media to increase your visibility to employers
Used effectively, social media is a great tool to get your name and profile in front of potential employers. There are several ways you can do this:
> Build an online profile and presence.
Many companies rely on social media sites to identify and recruit talent from the market. In particular, LinkedIn - it's essential you have a LinkedIn profile, and a good one at that. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, or haven't put much effort into your profile, you could be missing out on a multitude of opportunities.
You can use your LinkedIn profile to market your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Simply put, your unique combination of skills, experiences, accomplishments, behavioural competencies and attitudes that creates the value you can add to potential employers.
Also note that companies use social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to do background checks. If you want employers to think you are professional, all of your social media sites, including Facebook, must portray that!
> Always write useful, informative and provocative content
People will hire you if they perceive you to be a thought leader or subject matter expert in your field. Writing and promoting interesting and useful articles on social media can help you build this perception easily. You can also send your articles to people you want to connect with to start a discussion and get your expertise in front of them.
Use social media to connect with other professionals in your industry and become a source of information, advice or ideas. Or act as a connector and offer to introduce people to others in your network. Join groups on LinkedIn, posting your content as well as commenting on other group discussions. Follow your chosen companies on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and get involved in discussions about market and industry trends. Use all of the above to increase your visibility to potential employers, demonstrate your expertise and value, and get you the job you want!
Zeta yarwood is a UAE-based career coach and life coach. You can follow her work on www.zetayarwood.com
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