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Should I Stop Using Social Media?

We’ve all heard horror stories about individuals who have gotten fired from their job or weren’t considered for a job because of something they posted on Facebook or Twitter. These cautionary tales have us double and triple checking our privacy settings. Does this mean you should stop using social media if you are on the job hunt or as a safe way to approach career management?

According to panelists at the July “Job Ready or Not?” event, hosted by Bryant & Stratton College Online, if used appropriately, social media can be an asset during your job search. The event’s panel consisted of HR and hiring experts from CareerBuilder, Enterprise, Humana, Marriott International and Microsoft

Rather than offering anecdotes about why you should be careful about what photos you post, panelists focused on how to leverage social media to your advantage.

Become an expert

According to director of digital talent for Marriott International, Jessica Lee, one of the best ways to leverage social media is to position yourself as a subject matter expert.

“You have people who are accountants, for example, who are blogging using social media to share best practices,” she says. “You have healthcare experts, everyone from people in the pharmaceutical space to hospitals, who are sharing articles, having conversations, and putting themselves out there so that they can position themselves as experts.”

How can you position yourself as an expert? Share relevant industry articles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn and remember to add your own thoughts and commentary to the post.

Join the conversation

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable enough to become a subject matter expert. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use social media to your advantage. Another option is to join the conversation already being held about your industry. Pay attention to major influencers and pipe in when you have something to contribute. Doing this will not only show off your knowledge but also has potential to help you grow your network.

“It’s a bit of an organic process,” explains Lee, “and over time, I think that’s where things can grow and flourish.”

Showcase your skills

Have you recently worked on a project you’re especially proud of? Use social media to share your projects or portfolios with others and get them noticed.

LinkedIn recently added functionality that allows individuals to upload files. Take advantage of this to bolster your profile. While you’re on LinkedIn, Heather Tinguely, program manager of Global Talent Labs at Microsoft, also suggests checking that your profile is up to date. Update your employability skills and make it a habit to update your profile with relevant achievements as they happen so you don’t forget about them when it’s time to update your resume. Also, don’t be shy about asking colleagues and supervisors for recommendations.

“Make sure that you have references on there, because that’s your virtual [resume],” says Tingly.

Bryant & Stratton College Online is dedicated to helping students improve their employability skills and become job ready. Through outcomes-based education and career training, Bryant & Stratton College Online helps students learn the technical skills as well as the soft skills they’ll need to be successful in a career. If you are interested in learning more about the online degree programs at Bryant & Stratton College Online, please call 1.888.447.3528 to speak with an admissions representative.

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