Social media has taken the world by storm. From 10-year-old children to their 70-year-old grandparents, everyone around us is actively using social media for personal and professional use. Just about three-fourths of adults have jumped on to the digital bandwagon, and for 18-29 year-olds, that number shoots up to 89 percent. Social media is a good way to keep in touch with family and friends. You can share ideas and information and learn about what’s going on in the world. It’s also a great networking tool whether you’re looking to find a new career or advance in the one you already have. But for all its benefits, social media can also be tricky to navigate. You need to understand how to (and not to) use social media if you want to use it to its full potential while avoiding its pitfalls.
Do use social media to stay in touch with people you know. Most people say that staying in touch with family and friends is a major reason they are on social media. It’s great to post pictures of loved ones on Facebook and Instagram and look for likes and shares. Social media helps bridge time and distance, allowing you to stay involved in the lives of others; no matter where you are.
Don’t over-share on social media. While it’s fun to post pictures and status updates on social media, be careful what you share. Posting questionable content—such as underage drinking or inappropriate clothing choices—could sabotage your future. A CareerBuilder survey found that more than half of the employers who research job candidates on social media found content that caused them not to hire the candidate.
Do use social media for your job search. Social media can help you find a job! Create a professional online image and let everyone know you’re looking for employment. You can upload your resume and portfolio on LinkedIn and browse the site for job openings. You can even choose settings that will let you know when job postings that match your search criteria become available.
Don’t use social media to air personal grievances. The very public space of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites is NOT where you should express your dissatisfaction about others. In its most extreme, saying bad things about others is cyber bullying; and it’s a crime! But even if you’re only mildly ranting about a friend, boss or teacher, it demonstrates bad judgment and is frowned upon by hiring managers.
Do use social media to network. Social media can be a great networking tool. LinkedIn allows you to see connections and make new ones. Browse the site to find people you know and follow their connections. The wider your circle of “friends,” the more likely you’ll be able to discover new career opportunities when they present themselves.
Social media is just one tool you can use on your path to a new career. If you’re thinking of making a job change for the better, check out the career training available at Porter and Chester Institute. We offer programs in automotive technology, healthcare, computers and the trades at our nine campuses in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Call us at 800-870-6789 to schedule a school tour today!