By Aina Tolulope

Social Media today transcends just being seen as tools to connect with others and share ideas. It has moved from the social to the personal and even bears some measure of influence on the career aspects of an individual’s life.

Today it is easier for employer?s to gauge, through online sources, certain attributes of a candidate’s qualities and suitability for a job.

To use social media to your career advantage is to understand that employers now make use of social media to identify, attract and verify talents. You can stand out and attract a prospective employer?s attention via various social media channels.

While it may not be too significant at the moment social media is beginning to play an increasingly noticeable role in the recruitment process.

Apart from the normal channels of recruitment, person to person referrals now go on via such social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn. Employers seeking candidates will readily ask their colleagues on social platforms to refer any suitable candidates they know. Candidates on the other hand can utilise the many opportunities presented by the nature of social platforms to attract the attention of the HR people at their target organisations.

In a report released by CareerXroads it was shown that as much as 40% or recruiters and business executives believe some key social platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter) have some recruiting value and can help in the recruiting process. The focus in this write up is on what you, as a career individual, can do to utilise social media effectively in your job search.

Show Your Creative Abilities One of the greatest strengths of social platforms today is that it has democratised the process of showcasing talent. Whether you are a fledging developer, graphic artist, digital marketer, lawyer or security professional it has become easier to creatively demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in your chosen specialisation.

Social media has transcended just Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Forums, video sharing sites, blogs etc have all become essential parts of social media.
If you are the ambitious type you can come up with a strategy to make yourself heard and relevant on any of these social platforms. The next section shows how you can leverage on social media to show your knowledge and value to a prospective employer.
Provide Valuable Insights and Content in Your Field of Expertise
If you commit to learning as much as you can about your career area of choice you can use the various social platforms to provide valuable insights and content which could impress the right people. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do or intend doing the social media is available to use in showcasing your possible suitability and usefulness to an employer.

Develop Relationships With Industry Influencers
Before the days of social media it was virtually very difficult to get in touch with influencers and important professionals in an industry. Today with the right approach you could be having meaningful conversations with such people on a social media platform.

Build a network of industry influencers
As this will not only help you keep in tune with cutting edge ideas in your industry you can also leverage the network and familiarity to get useful tips and insider information on certain suitable opportunities.

Optimise Your Online Reputation and Profile
These days more and more employers may readily check you out online to get an idea of your antecedents and determine how suitable you are for the job. Managing your online reputation is all about ensuring that work shows when people search for you will consist of information that will showcase your expertise, quality and suitability as a professional in so and so area.

This means you should use all necessary social platforms (many of them are high ranked sites respected by Google). You can also create online resume profile on career platforms like Ngcareers and put up the best possible information to showcase your work history, experience, achievements and career related projects.

When someone checks you out your social media profiles should show videos, articles, designs (if you are in a design related industry), projects etc that you have accomplished. Let your online presence speak volumes of your ability and promise as a career individual.