Leveraging Social Media for young professionalsIn a competitive job market, how can you use social media to distinguish yourself? Comprising photos of the Spring break in Fort Lauderdale on your Facebook will make you stand out, but not to your benefit when the hiring manager views them.
Here is how to enhance your personal brand using social media. I do it, and you can too.
1. Decide who your target market is. I assume that if you are a professional in a large organization, then your target market is your manager and the person who is likely to be your next hiring manager. This could be the leader of the PMO office, program and portfolio leader or CIO. Once you know who you are writing and creating a brand to enchant, then you should tailor your content to the person in this role. For example, would the CIO of Amazon.com be thrilled to find out that you successfully manage multi-million dollar ecommerce projects, or that you run a book club? Most people who use Facebook and other social media don't have a target market, which means that you have a head start before you even start.
2. What are the problems that your target market is facing? Identify these problems (or at least guess at what they are) and then offer plausible solutions. Demonstrate that you understand the problem, and have current, realistic approaches that can solve the problems.
3. Include a bit of personal information on your social media, to demonstrate that you are also a person. Share videos and photos of your charity work, your hobbies and adventures. It should in the 90/10 ratio. 90% professional value to demonstrate your expertise and solutions to problems and 10% to show that you are a real person, with joys and challenges just like everyone else.
4. Don't bother with stupid online games, unless it is your profession. For most of us, being invited to a farmyard is simply a waste of time. The exception is if you are preparing for a career in online games for social media.
5. Don't be shy. Time is limited. You only pass this way once. When you post your solutions to problems on your blog, or facebook notes, then reuse them. Copy and Paste your articles and value into multiple social media platforms, create articles from them and possibly self-publish a book. It takes energy to create intellectual property in the form of written solutions to common project management problems. Reuse it. You own it, and created it, so leverage it.
6. Use your time online wisely. Go into the social media websites, post your content, see what your friends are up to, and get out. Social media websites are a great place to waste hours of your precious time. You make more career progress by interviewing successful professionals in your career, taking workshops such as Relationship Awareness Theory , using SDI to determine your Motivational Value System and challenging yourself by leading volunteer projects than you will ever do by guessing which animal is roaming the farmyard.
7. Although it seems obvious, let me state it. Don't post compromising anything to social media. There is no such thing as privacy. If you post it, it is public. You opinions, photos, personal connections, etc are all public. Are you willing to stand behind what you say online? It is a dark side of the internet, but you accept this risk when you go decide to play on this field.
8. Remember that social media is essentially a "no-obligation" look. A hiring manager can evaluate your thoughts, how you fit into the culture, your achievements without any obligation to interview you. For example, if someone was looking to hire me as a contract trainer in Connecticut, then my website should demonstrate my experience and testimonials from satisfied audience members. Although this means that some people won't contact you because your website / social media disqualified you from their scope of possibilities, you are more likely to make progress with a hiring manager who sees you as the right solution to the problem.
In summary, this is the best time in the history of mankind (womankind?) to use a media that is available to everyone and underutilized by most to build your professional brand. Don't miss the boat - now is the time to use social media to your advantage.