9 Tips for Using Social Media to Help Your Career (The Do’s And Don’ts)

Posted April 28, 2020, by Elesha

Using social media to help your career can be an amazing way to leap ahead. Be warned though, if you go about managing your social image the wrong way, things could really backfire. 

We’ve put together the Do’s and Don’ts for social media when it comes to building your personal brand, avoiding professional embarrassment and opening the doors to future career opportunities!

Do Actually Have A Professional Social Media Presence

First things first – Google yourself. Because you’ve never done that before *cough*

From a career perspective, does anything notable actually pop up – or is your professional social presence a bit…ghostly?

Many of your peers have a stellar digital presence so yours will seem pretty underwhelming by comparison. And like it or not, when it comes to your professional credentials, you’re being compared.

If you’ve got a basic LinkedIn profile that doesn’t actually say a whole lot, it’s a good place to start beefing up your credentials to use social media professionally. 

Have a read through our tips on crafting a great LinkedIn profile and how to choose the right profile picture.

Don’t Be A Social Wallflower! Join Discussions To Build Your Professional Reputation

Use your public profiles on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to engage with others – share, comment and contribute to conversations in your niche or industry. 

Follow the top companies or peers in your field and be authentic (but professional) and relevant when commenting.

Did someone ask a question on Twitter that you can answer? Send them a friendly reply.

Looking for recommendations? Reach out to your audience on your professional Facebook page.

Did a former colleague post about their promotion on LinkedIn? Comment to congratulate them.

By regularly interacting and providing value others will notice and you’ll begin to build your professional online reputation.

Pro tip: Don’t overlook LinkedIn Groups. They are a great way to connect with other like-minded professionals in your field. Here’s the rundown on finding and joining a LinkedIn Group.  

Do Curate Or Produce Valuable Content

Another way to use social media to help your career and boost your image is by sharing valuable content specifically created or curated for your professional audience.

For example, if you’re an accountant, you might share current content around new accounting software, case studies, tips that may help other accountants and general relevant news for your industry. Tag other people who will get notified of the mention – especially if you actively interact with them on the platform. 

LinkedIn also gives you the option to be a keyboard warrior and write your own articles. If you’ve got great writing chops, creating your own content relevant to your profession is another way to build your profile.

Don’t Get Drawn Into Controversial Topics 

The comments section can be a slippery slope straight into career tainting disaster when it comes to sensitive topic discussions.

It’s usually best to steer clear of controversial stuff on your professional, public profiles – unless it’s your job to be controversial!

Is it safe for you to write your rant on your personal account instead? You still might like to think twice before you do. 

It takes someone 2 seconds to take a screenshot of your comments and another 5 seconds to share it around to whoever they want. Deleting is no longer a safeguard to remove regretful comments on either personal or professional social media accounts.

Play it safe and keep your rants offline – save them for happy (ranty) hour with friends.

Do Promote Any Courses, Seminars, Or Conferences You’ve Attended

Successful people are always updating their skills, knowledge and staying up to date with changes unfolding in their industry.  

These are the kind of people employers and other professionals seek out for opportunities and advice. You want to be one of these people, right?

Use social media to help your career by sharing relevant events you’ve attended or courses completed on your professional profiles. Peers and employers will notice that you’re ongoing and self-motivated in the pursuit of knowledge. This puts you in a good light.

Don’t Be Afraid To Share (Some) Personal Updates On Your Professional Profile

Training to run a marathon or volunteering at your local Rotary Club to serve lunch to folks doing it tough? 

Sharing the occasional (carefully selected) personal update allows your peers to get a glimpse into your non-professional life and your interests, the causes you support or personal goals you’re working towards. 

If a co-worker shares some of their own personal updates, take note! It can be a good conversation starter and way to use social media to help your career by building stronger professional relationships beyond talking shop.

Do Know Your Way Around Your Privacy Settings 

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; what happens on social media, stays on Google forever” – Jure Klepic. 

We’re more relaxed and share (or #overshare) what’s going on in our lives on our private social accounts.

In some cases it’s stuff you wouldn’t want those in your professional circle to know…..like your ‘special skill’ for dancing on the bar after 6 too many vodka lime sodas. 

Make sure the security settings on your private accounts are watertight. 

Potential employers, recruiters and some current colleagues will definitely be snooping around to see what they can find about you online. You want the content that’s out there for the public view not to taint your professional image.  

Don’t Be Spammy Or Too Self Promoting

Ugh. Is there anything worse than seeing a million posts, retweets, and shares from the same person clogging up your feed? 

Especially when they do it across every platform. 

Especially when it’s all self-promotion and #humblebrags. 

If you want to use social media to help your career – don’t be that person! When it comes to social media in the workplace, be thoughtful and controlled about the content you share on your professional networks. 

Do Use Social Media In Your Job Search

Your social network can be a gold mine of job opportunities, but you need to actually put yourself out there.

Be clear that you’re on the job hunt (if it doesn’t jeopardise your current role!) by updating your LinkedIn tagline with keywords like Seeking Opportunities or Looking For A New Role. 

Recruiters search terms like these when scouring LinkedIn for candidates.

You can also write a post on LinkedIn’s publishing platform, Pulse, asking your network for referrals and / or introductions. Include who you are, the kind of position you’re looking for and skillset. 

So, there they are – the do’s and don’ts for using social media to help your career! Before you go check out there 10 More Tips For Using Social Media In Your Job Search


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