Social-Media-MasterclassArticle by Veronica King, Founder of EDS Coaching & Consulting.co.uk

We are currently at a place whether we are starting, developing or advancing our career it is greatly affected by the increased use of social media.

The extensive use of social media by recruitment agencies and employers have become the order of the day and as a result most people have their profiles available on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms.

Individuals can now identify a job via one simple search of their chosen Agency site. In addition, there are numerous Apps coming into the marketplace, that facilitate job search more quickly than ever before, providing prospective candidates with information at speed. This facility to provide Job-on-the-Go is an ever increasing one.

Competition for both available jobs and recruitment agencies are stiff and as a result prospective employees and those seeking to advance their career, whether via promotion or job change, have to be in a position to interpret what is on offer – how it suits their desires and interest, and which Agency is suitable for them, that is, that meet their specific needs.

Because jobs and careers seekers today have an extremely wide choice in terms of platforms, they can drill down into the areas, the organisations and influential individuals in those organisations of their choice.

In addition, they can also segment their career choice via social medial. Another great benefit to job and career seekers.

They can go to any site, or, site listings to discover what suits them best. You will often discover a numerical listing. For example, LinkedIn is the No. 1 spot for job seekers and those currently employed, or, looking to advance their careers. There are others such as, Twitter with Blog or LinkedIn URL, Jobster, Facebook, Craiglist, MyWorkster with Indeed Recruitment agency, and VisualCV and this is not an exhaustive list.

So how can you use social media to advance your career?

Let’s take the number one social media platform for jobs and careers. LinkedIn is a wealth of information for career development firstly because of its search engine. This can be used to research the types of organisations you want to join. It will also provide the details of the people within those organisations you may want to target for your career choice. It will also provide you with the locations of organisations world-wide. It will tell you how many employees those organisations employ and their positions. You can also search those organisations for the role you are seeking and get a description of those roles, first-hand.

You can set up your profile, listing all your skills, experience, qualifications, your talents, and your achievements in some detail, on LinkedIn.

All of this gives you a head start in your search and provide you with vital information on how you can proceed to making enquiries. Here you can submit a separate Curriculum Vitae (CV) or you can make your profile available to prospective organisations.

You can also set up a jobs alert facility. The downside here that it is not always precisely what you are looking for, but it can nevertheless be valuable in creating awareness of what is the jobs market and in your chosen field or expertise.

A great advantage in using social media for career advancement is that you can use your social connections or social networking to help your profile or CV to move up the career stack. Linked is known for facilitating ‘influencers’. These could be people in your social circle, people who are ‘in the know’, or, people you know who know those people. This can be a useful way to boost your career.

A useful facility on LinkedIn is the ability to ask for recommendations or testimonials from people you have worked with, or organisations you’ve worked for in the past.

All the above helps to you to build a strong profile from which prospective employers can glean information about you that are relevant to their searches.

It is important then that you ensure you are also relevant and that your information is current.

The most important thing to remember is that by applying these actions you are on your way to building a strong brand of ‘You’ so that you can achieve your career success. Your approach to this is pivotal. The purpose of the exercise is to attract the best recruiting manager to you, in an informed way. The saying …’your network is your net worth’ rings true in building your successful career in the same way it applies to building a successful business.

Grow your social network, fully engage with them, and utilise their expertise and their wealth of experience. This will pay dividend. MashableUK, a multi- disciplinary site in social media, reports that 80% of jobs are not advertised, they are often found through network of connections.

Using social media to advance your career, like anything else, takes work so this requires so patience and persistence and will be very much worthwhile.

It is a great way to build your resilience for your new and upwardly mobile career.