As social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, many of us find ourselves taking photos of nearly everything we do... We are eager to post everything in the social media-sphere for friends and family to keep up-to-date. Your profile picture—a seemingly harmless thumbnail—also serves as a vehicle for potential job opportunities.
Indiscriminate details like your profile photo, general information, as well as how you choose to utilise social media, can be the defining factors as to whether a prospective employer does a double take on your résumé or CV.
While most social media sites serve as a kind of blog or personal platform, many jobseekers and employers are now coming to the realisation of the immense power social media holds as a portal for marketing, advertising and brand circulation. Now, more than ever, social media platforms such as Skype, Facebook, Vine, and YouTube have bridged the geographical gap between continents, creating a global network of professionals that makes a distance of a few thousand miles seem trivial, if not obsolete.
According to Vocus’ The Marketer’s Guide to Social Media 2014, Facebook has expounded the advertising market with 100% of advertising for businesses. If you’re considering using Facebook as a platform to promote yourself or a business, consider the following suggestions from Vocus: 1.) Word of mouth with earned sharing, and 2.) Boost branded posts with native advertising. So what’s the difference between the two?
Native advertising operates on two platforms: open or closed. Facebook and Twitter are examples of “closed platforms” that promote content within their respective brand with features such as ads, pages to “like” and so forth. “Open platforms” promote branded content across multiple platforms, increasing in an overall speedier delivery of circulated branded content.
Word of mouth is perhaps the oldest trick in the book with regard to advertising and promotion, but also the most cost-effective. The fees and other charges incurred with running ads on social media, television or print are nonexistent. The only prerequisite this one requires is tireless pursuit of exposure, hours of sleep deprivation and perhaps power in numbers; a dedicated team to making oneself seen and heard is easier than going it alone.
Of course the proverbial resumé and CV are still key factors to attaining a position, but the world is definitely changing in terms of ways to be seen. Creating an online portfolio enables prospective employers to view what you’re capable of—not just read about it on a resumé. Fill that portfolio or LinkedIn to the brim, with snippets of project work, campaigns and brands worked on, references and endorsements. Also, be mindful of what you post in the social media world. While employers know you have a life outside of the 9-5 window, keep it clean—you never know who’s watching.
Social media doesn’t have to be stagnant or intrusive. If anything it’s completely moldable. So build it around the empire you wish to expand on—yourself.
By Camille Todaro