How to Leverage Social Media in Your Career

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We’ve all been witness to how quickly social media can bolster and subsequently destroy someone’s career. Justin Bieber was discovered on MySpace, while Twitter has forever blemished Anthony Weiner’s political career. Every day people are also impacted by their online media presence, but usually in less viral ways. If your primary focus is protecting yourself from a social media gaffe, you’re on the right track but you’re missing some integral ways social media can help you as well.

Facebook

facebookMany people feel that because Facebook is a personal platform, its accoutrements shouldn’t impact the professional realm. I remember the good ol’ days when you needed a college email account to join Facebook and my mom didn’t “Like” every photo I posted.  Unfortunately, we now live in a different reality and you have to adapt. Most recruiters and hiring managers will check Facebook. A few strategies to avoid any mishaps include strengthening your privacy settings and censoring your posts. Much to the chagrin of many, this means removing any revealing selfies, blatant “party pics” and statuses that are polarizing or offensive. If you’re in the heat of a job search, you can even disable it until you’ve secured a position.

Can Facebook help me? You bet. Facebook is filled with people who support you. Don’t hesitate to share accomplishments, projects and goals. Additionally, it’s a great relief to me as a recruiter when someone’s Facebook I’m following up on isn’t littered with obscenities.

LinkedIn

768px-LinkedIn_logo_initialsIf you don’t have a LinkedIn, you’re missing a huge opportunity to promote your services, meet like-minded professionals and learn about career opportunities. More than just a virtual resume, LinkedIn is a great place to share articles that are relevant to your industry and post some blogs yourself without the hassle of a separate account or website. It’s supposed to be interactive, so use it for more than just the profile!

Can LinkedIn hurt me? In short, yes. Make sure that the dates on your LinkedIn profile and the dates on your resume match up. Use a headshot that is professional and flattering. And for goodness sakes, check the spelling on your profile backwards and forwards.

Twitter

indexThanks to the advent of screen shots, an ill-thought-out tweet lives on forever. You should review your privacy settings and stay vigilant about the information you disperse on Twitter. I recommend going back over the history of all your tweets and removing any that are off-color. Are they funny in the right context? Maybe. But consider whether or not your quick-wit is worth losing your job.

Can Twitter help me? Of course! Use this platform to share valuable information about meetings, events, and news. You can also advertise your skills and follow/interact with others in your industry.

Snapchat

240px-Snapchat_LogoMany of us have been burned by that friend who took a screenshot of the ironic and contorted face you sent in jest and then immediately shared it with the group chat (haven’t we?). Spoiler alert: that will always happen. Be judicious in the illustrations and photos you send through this platform.
Can Snapchat help me? Actually, yes. Many professionals share trade secrets and information about their businesses via the “My Story” feature. Send people to your website. Share a beauty tip. Promote your brand.

Instagram

instaI appreciate the privacy features on Instagram and find that typically people are more circumspect about what they post here. However, be wary of posting too many selfies as it can imply narcissism.
Can Instagram help me? Well, where would the Kardashians be without Instagram?

In summary, you have a virtual reputation that is very difficult to mend once tarnished. In addition to protecting it, spend some time strengthening it as well.

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What Do You Ask In An Interview?

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             We have all gone through some sort of interviewing process to land a job in our professional careers. Being interviewed can be somewhat intimidating; however, it should be very informative for both the employer and candidate alike. As a candidate, you should gather as much information as possible to make certain that the company/opportunity matches what you are looking for. Consider asking questions throughout the process–asking questions (always in a respectful manner) is perfectly acceptable and is certainly welcomed by hiring managers. It serves two distinctive benefits. The first benefit is that you will be provided with valuable information in your decision making process. The second benefit is that it conveys a high level of interest to the company along with the fact that you are taking the interview seriously.

            Always do the appropriate amount of research prior to the interview. Be sure to know the company (i.e. history, size, and products/services provided). There are always the generic questions to ask such as company growth/ goals/direction; however, consider exploring the history of the position itself. An obvious question to ask (but often ignored) is why is the role open? The best answer you can receive is that your predecessor was promoted and has moved up in the organization. Obviously, this is a good sign because it demonstrates growth potential from within. If they divulge that the incumbent was terminated or resigned, I would recommend investigating further. Due to confidentiality, the interviewer may not be able to give specific details why that person is no longer in the role. Ask how long they were in the role. If it was a short period of time, ask about the person in the position before the most recent incumbent. Try to establish a history or pattern about the role. If you discover that your predecessors were in the role for short periods of time, this may not be the best opportunity.

           Engage the interviewer in conversation regarding their time and history with the organization. Ask about their previous work experience and how they came to be in their current role. Also, ask them to elaborate on their successes as well as challenges within the organization. In my experience, most hiring managers enjoy talking about themselves especially if they have had a positive experience with the company.

             Finally, ask for the job! If you are satisfied with the information that you have gathered and you feel the opportunity is a great fit, then ask for the job itself. At the very least, ask the interviewer if there was anything during the interview that would prevent them from hiring you. If they say no, then ask for the next step. Interviewers really like that level of confidence, especially if it is for a sales role. Don’t be shy, close the deal!

Written by : Chad HardinChad Hardin
Chad Hardin is a Technical Recruiter at Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing. He has been with the company for over 2 and half years. Hardin has more than 15 years of recruiting experience and has additional experience in training, business management, office operations, marketing, and sales. Hardin graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and completed the General Motors Marketing Internship Program as an undergrad.