3 Ways Social Media Can Advance Your Career

3 Ways Social Media Can Advance Your Career

Here's a helpful post from our partners at Brazen Life:  

You know your way around LinkedIn. You get that Twitter isn’t all about broadcasting that you’ve just gotten up to make your fourth cup of coffee. And Facebook? Come on.

So on the job hunt, you want people to know this. So badly that you practically want to skywrite it onto your resumé: I KNOW SOCIAL MEDIA.

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After all, this is the thing that’s going to set you apart, the thing that’s going to give you an edge, right? Hang on. It’s pretty much expected that millenials will be comfortable with social media. But play up your comfiness with Facebook too much, and it could land your resumé in the reject pile. “There are some recruiters out there that see that as a negative,” Mack Collier, a social media strategist, told Brazen Careerist.

Why? Because dwelling on your Twitter know-how can lead people to think that, well, you’re on Twitter twelve hours a day. And that scares employers who might want you to get some actual work done.

Here’s how to note your social media prowess on your resume to make it work for you:

Be Specific

It’s not enough to say you have social media experience. We all do.

Instead, look at the job description and figure out a way you might use social media to do it better. “How are you using social media? As a research tool? To find out the weather?” Collier says. “The whole point is you just don’t want to make it look like the only way you use Twitter is to talk with your friends.”

Unleash Your Inner Control Freak

You know those times someone’s posted something on your Facebook wall that made you cringe? Or worse, tagged you in a photo that shows your, let’s just say, less-than-professional side? Don’t let that happen.

Dan Schawbel, founder of MillenialBranding.com, a Gen Y research and consulting company, told Brazen control is ultra important here. He says the average young person is connected to 16 coworkers on Facebook. That line between what you do on your off time and your office life is blurred. “So when I post something, I always ask, ‘How can this affect me?’”

Schawbel recommends ramping up your account settings–specifically, moderate tags and posts on your Facebook wall. “If you don’t do that, you’re at a huge loss because then you lose control over how you’re perceived online,” he says. And your online image is just as important as your persona on paper.

So before you tweet that you’re shoe shopping or teasing your cat with a laser pointer in the middle of the day, think twice. Your prospective employer is probably watching.

Play it Down (Or Up)

If the job description makes little or no mention of social media, just make a quick mention of it and move on. But if it’s a key part of what you’ll be doing, take a little time to describe which social media platforms you’ve used and how it can make you more efficient.

Even better? Spell out what’s in it for them. “Put it in terms they’ll understand how they can get more money or save money or get more customers, or more traffic,” Collier says.

In general, certain fields are likely to put more weight on social media, Schawbel says. “Marketing, communications, creative jobs, entertainment–any of those fields and industries and professions, if you don’t do it, you have no shot at getting those jobs,” he says. On the flip side, if you’re applying for an accountant gig, it can’t hurt, but it probably won’t be the thing to seal the deal.

Gigi Douban is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Ala. Follow her on Twitter at @gdouban, where she’ll spare you the agony of knowing how many cups of coffee she’s had on a given day. Or find her at www.gigidouban.com.

Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work—this isn’t your parents’ career-advice blog. Be Brazen.

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