You Spend an Insane Amount of Time on Social Media … Why Not Use It to Help You Land Your Next Job?
You are probably on your phone 5+ hours each day. I’m going to guess over half of your phone time is social media use. It’s pretty shocking but if you don’t believe me set a timer for 30 minutes and see if you can avoid checking social media that entire time. I’m not sure what we’re all looking for by endlessly scrolling. It’s as if we think we’re going to miss something critically important so we must check again … and again … or perhaps we think some life-changing news is going to appear and we don’t want to be the last to know. Whatever the reason, it’s the reality for most people.
I regularly hear people share their struggles with job searching and interviewing. Today I have three easy things you can do while you’re on your phone anyway to help get you closer to your next job. Simply put, if you’ve read this far, you must care about your career so let’s put some of that screen time to good use.
1. Tell your story and ask for help. Most of us think we need to act like we’ve got it all covered but we don’t – none of us do. Social media, especially LinkedIn, is a great way to share your story and ask for help. There are two ways I suggest doing this. 1) If you’re a student or new grad you can publically broadcast a short post or video on your social media explaining your background, what you bring to the table, and what sort of position you’re looking for – and ask your network to help you spread the word. 2) If you’re currently employed but are looking for a new position (i.e. you don’t want all your friends/connections like your boss to know you’re looking), then use your LinkedIn account to privately message people in companies that interest you to try to network with them. Your short-term goal with this approach is to get someone to give you 5 minutes of their time via phone so you can ask them a few questions about their role and hopefully start to build some rapport with them that could grow over time. This approach is essentially how I landed what was, at the time, my dream job working in adidas world years ago. Make sure that before you do any of this, you have a great LinkedIn profile.
2. Foster goodwill by sharing other people’s posts. I’m a big fan of career expert, Hannah Morgan’s advice. She’s a job search strategist who runs CareerSherpa.net. I love how she explains the magic that happens when you foster goodwill with others. Morgan says, “Smart job seekers focus on the needs, wants and desires of others and obsess less over the need to find a job. Successful networkers know that when they show generosity toward others, it can and usually does come back to help them in the future.” Not only does you sharing someone else’s post put you on their radar but it also makes them more likely to be open to networking with you and/or potentially helping you in the future. Plus, people just love to feel supported and see their posts shared. Engaging with a post by liking it or commenting is one thing but sharing it is another level of endorsement. Think about who you could show some love that might ultimately benefit you.
3. Be seen as an expert. News happens every day in any given industry. When something significant happens in the industry you’re passionate about, consider sharing the news and adding your opinion/expertise to it. This, when done consistently and carefully, can truly help build your reputation in an industry. Just make sure opinions you share can’t come back to hurt you later. i.e. If your dream job is with Apple I wouldn’t share news and excitement about a new release from Microsoft. Instead I’d focus on Apple or perhaps on consumer trends or something broad about the tech/consumer electronics/software industries.
The three things above are very easy to do; you just need to rejig your screen time a little every so often. Social media can absolutely be used to the advantage of your career. For more frequent career advice, follow me on Instagram @madetohire.