How do you use social media to land an interview for the job you’ve been dreaming about, or get a promotion? Social media allows us to shape our personal identities online, by giving us control over the way we present ourselves. By being proactive and keeping a few basic rules in mind, you can leverage social media to make your professional life more fulfilling.
So how do you set yourself apart from your peers? Here are a few tips on personal branding.
Focus on your narrative
The first rule of social media: Everyone, including employers, can see you! So ask yourself: if I were an employer, what would I get out of this person’s profile? Sadly, a majority of social media profiles are mundane and uninteresting. To stand out, focus on telling a story through your social media profile. If someone asks you about what you’ve been up to lately, do you reply with something vague like “same old, same old” or “not much?” Talk about the current projects, books you’ve been reading, recent experiences that inspired you, etc. Show that you’re interested in new challenges. Someone visiting your social media profile is exactly like being asked about what you’ve been up to lately, so make sure your profile isn’t communicating “not much” on your behalf.
Online, content creation is the best way to get noticed, as it demonstrates your skill set and expertise. You have all the tools you need at your disposal, so just start using them. Open a blog using WordPress. If you don’t like to write, create a video podcast using your laptop camera or smartphone. With a little bit of editing and some common sense, you can showcase your skills, meet new people and grow an audience.
When you’re first building a name for yourself online, you face infinite competition. A lot of topics, like sports or politics, are already very well covered, and it’s hard to stand out when you only discuss general topics. Instead, try to specialize. Become an expert in a field or topic that’s underrepresented. One trick is to be ahead of the curve by focusing on an emergent trend, like Google Glass. If the technology takes off, you’ll already have a mountain of information available for new consumers, and you might also get invited to press conferences or other public events.
Reconnect with old friends
Your network can do so much for you. If you’ve lost touch with old friends from several years ago, it’s not a bad idea to reconnect with them. Over that period of time, they’ve changed, and so have you. They’ve likely picked up new contacts and networks, and might be willing to help you as you pursue your goals. If that’s the case, you should make sure, of course, to return the favour.
Learn a new skill
Pick a new skill to learn and give it your best. If you find it easier to learn in a school environment, sign up for web development courses or a class at 3D animation colleges. Dabble in business management training. By adding new skills to your skill set, you make yourself more desirable to potential employers. Your skill can be just about anything, such as learning video editing, or how to design t-shirts or conduct webinars. By focusing on a specific skill and committing to it, you increase your chances of avoiding getting sidetracked.