Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
05 Jul 2014

Using social media to help your career

05 Jul 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Social media at work

A recent survey by Robert Half revealed that surprisingly nearly two thirds of employees surveyed don't check their personal social media networks while at work. Additionally, out of those who do log on to social media sites at work, the majority (47%) only accessed them for half an hour or less. This research runs counter to the generally accepted belief that employees are simply wasting their employers time at work by checking and updating their personal social media profiles.

The importance of a social media presence

Our study also found that social networking sites are permitted in two thirds of the workplace (63%) and that respondents understand that social media can be very beneficial in raising both a companys and individuals profile.

It's equally useful as well for brand championing, for professional networking and internal communications - if employees are taught to use it appropriately. Additionally, as social media becomes increasingly mainstream, it's important for employers to have a social media presence, in particular for young people, with 26% saying that it was now important to them.

Social media key for today's jobseeker

The Robert Half survey into social media revealed that the use of social networks is now influencing job searches with over one in ten workers (12%) saying they have used social media sites to look for a job.

You can often find positions posted online and researching jobs using the internet can cut down the time it takes to find that perfect role. Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter also give you the opportunity to ask industry veterans what the job really entails. As an employer, posting available positions online can target younger candidates who may prefer to look for jobs online and simultaneously raise your online presence.

Leveraging brand & personal profiles online

Ensuring your company has an online profile is vital in todays job market. Often, potential candidates will use social networking sites to find out more about an industry or specific company, so its important not to ignore this channel of communication with online job-seekers.

Additionally, social media sites such as LinkedIn can prove useful for raising your own professional profile. Its no secret that employers sometimes type the names of potential hires into Google, so ensure your professional social media profiles are up-to-date and professional. These sites are also a great way to network online, and connect with like-minded individuals and those within your industry or sector ultimately creating valuable business relationships for the future.

Set networking boundaries

Think twice before adding your colleagues on social networking sites such as Facebook, as by doing this youre giving co-workers access to a large amount of personal information that you may not want to share. However, if you have a strictly work-related Twitter account, for example, this is where it would be appropriate to invite colleagues to join your online network.

Interestingly the same survey also found that young people (aged 24 and under) were the most aware of the effect their personal social media profiles could have on their career with 43% stating that they would not add their boss as a friend, compared to the average of 30%.

Social media - not to be ignored

When used for work purposes and if used sensibly, social networking sites can be extremely beneficial. They can help your job search, allow you to expand your professional network and highlight your career profile, past experience and skills to potential hirers.

As an employer, to ignore social media is to ignore a large proportion of job-seekers and potential opportunity, so getting up to speed with online networking and profile-building is key.