Social media has quickly become a powerful tool for brands and businesses both large and small to communicate their mission, purpose and personality. As an individual, your social media networks should not be overlooked to communicate these messages about yourself when you’re searching for that perfect PR job or internship.
In today’s job search, Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest can play a vital role. It’s even been suggested, as in this recent article from Mashable, that social media should replace traditional resumes. Personally, I still like to see a candidate’s career details outlined on a resume, but I also believe online elements such as your Twitter feed and LinkedIn profile play an important role in your job hunt. There are several ways you can use some of the most popular social media networks to your career advantage.
Facebook Publicity or Privacy: There is a lot of chatter surrounding the privacy settings of Facebook. While you can choose to make your profile private or for all to see, just remember that your profile and cover photo still remain visible, so use those images to your advantage. No matter how “private” you make your settings, the internet is no private place. Think carefully before posting anything concerning your job, co-workers or clients – you never know if a friend of a friend’s friend will come across it! A gut-check I always follow is imagining my boss and my grandma reading my posts or looking at my photos. If I’m uncomfortable with what they’re looking at, it probably doesn’t belong on Facebook – or the internet for that matter.
Twitter “Expertise”: Twitter is a great platform to mix personal and professional content. You can position yourself as an expert in your field by Tweeting relevant articles while also showing a bit of your personality and flair. Twitter makes it easy to jump into conversations with people you may not necessarily know, but who have similar interests. Join hashtagged Twitter conversations such as #pr20chat, #brandchat or any of the nearly 700 special interest chats taking place on Twitter to show off your knowledge and learn a bit in the process, too.
LinkedIn with the Details: I like to think of LinkedIn as the Professional Facebook. In today’s online- and social media-driven world, a detailed presence on LinkedIn should be a no-brainer. LinkedIn has given career-seekers space to talk about their professional accomplishments – without the one page limit. Use this space to get down to the details. Go ahead and include that job you had in high school but more importantly, what you learned from it. Don’t let your profile go stagnant, keep it updated with new projects and connections. The status update is also a great way to quickly communicate what you’re working on.
Visual Interest on Pinterest: Use this addictive eye candy to turn your accomplishments in to a handful of quick-read visuals. In addition to your boards of wedding plans, décor dreams and scrumptious dishes, create a portfolio board to display things such as your resume, campaign results shown as an infographic, photos of an event you helped coordinate, a screenshot of a website you wrote copy for, marketing materials you helped develop… be as creative as you want! Make sure these Pins link to somewhere that will better explain what you did, such as your LinkedIn profile, resume PDF, client website or a relevant project – and be sure to always give credit to photos/links when appropriate. And don’t forget to include the best way to contact you somewhere on your board!