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Dos and Don’ts for Using Social Media in Your Job SearchRead More
Social media can’t be ignored in today’s hypercompetitive job market, and according to research by Telstra more than a quarter of employers in Australia are now using it to screen job candidates. Over a third of these employers also say they have hired someone based on positive things they saw online.
But having a social media presence not only makes you more visible to hiring managers and recruiters looking for people with your skills, qualifications and experience, it can also help you become more proactive in your job search.
If you’re new to using social media as a tool for professional networking rather than socialising and keeping in touch with friends, here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Develop a professional online presence
Social media can help or hinder your job search, so it’s important to make sure that when employers do look you up online, what they find will reflect the same professional image you project in person.
You can do a quick Google search on your name and remove any information you wouldn’t want an employer to see, but keep in mind that the main point is not to hide the fact that you’ve ever been active online, but to make yourself more visible to potential employers.
LinkedIn is usually the first place an employer will look, so take the time to complete your profile with a professional photo and details of your work experience, education, volunteer experiences, hobbies and other skills or interests.
Let others in your network know you’re looking
Let your friends and followers know that you’re looking for a job. Not only will this help you hear about new job opportunities before anyone else does, but if a head hunter or recruiter is using social media to find candidates like yourself, they’ll know you’re available.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should set your job title to “Unemployed” on LinkedIn or Twitter, as this is unlikely to attract anyone. Instead, describe yourself as a professional in the field you would like to work in, even if you’re new to the industry, and let others know that you’re looking for a new challenge to take on.
Follow companies and top people in your industry
One of the best things about sites like Facebook and Twitter is that they allow you to follow top companies and people in the industry you would like to work in. This allows you to get to know different company cultures, make new connections and see how others present themselves online, and keep up with the latest industry news.
On LinkedIn, your first step will be connecting with the people you know, whether they’re classmates, previous employers or colleagues and friends. Once you’re connected, you can ask for introductions, recommendations and references.
Share too much information
Sharing a few well-chosen details about your personal experiences and daily life can help you seem more genuine and approachable, but there’s a fine line between showcasing your personality and sharing too much information.
Think carefully before sharing personal details and photos or publically commenting on controversial issues. If it’s something that could be misinterpreted by someone who doesn’t know you or might be a turn off an employer who doesn’t share your religious or political views, it would probably be better to share it privately.
Be too casual
Emoticons and text message lingo should be used sparingly when communicating with people through your blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever other networks you use professionally.
Poor spelling and grammar or even an overuse of popular slang may cause employers to doubt your ability to communicate effectively and could damage your credibility. Make an effort to remain respectful and professional when approaching anyone online, whether it’s to ask for a recommendation, make an introduction or comment on something they’ve written.
Take on too much at once
It’s better to have just one up-to-date and active social media account than to jump on board with five or six sites that you don’t have the time to maintain. Start with just one or two sites you feel comfortable with and learn how to use them effectively.
Once you’re in the habit of updating your site regularly and have built up a good following on Twitter or made some valuable connections on LinkedIn, you can think about branching out and trying another site that meets your professional needs.
Top tips for working more productively from homeRead More
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 1 in 12 Australians now work from home.
Unsurprisingly, a Melbourne University study found that people who work from home feel more energised and less stressed. But aside from having a better work-life balance, telecommuters also get an earlier start, work up to three hours longer, accomplish more in a day and report fewer distractions than their in-office counterparts.
So if you’re thinking of making the switch to working from home and want to ensure that you’ll be as productive as possible, keep the following tips in mind.
Set up a designated work zone
It can be tempting to work from your sofa, but even if you do choose to answer your emails in front of the television every now and then, having a designated work area where you can shut out the rest of the household is important.
A separate room is best, but if you don’t have a whole room to spare, you can still cordon off a section of your living room or bedroom and invest in a good work desk and comfortable chair.
Dress the part and follow a daily routine
Although you certainly don’t have to dress as formally as you would if you were going into the office, you should make an effort to get dressed every morning rather than sitting around in your pyjamas, which can make it difficult to get into “work mode.”
Daily routines are also important, as it’s easier to give in to procrastination without the structure of a 9-5 work day. Even if you can’t keep the same working hours every day, you can still develop a daily routine so you know when it’s time to start, but also stop working.
Set monthly goals and daily to-dos
Setting a monthly goal will give you something to focus on, while having a daily to-do list helps you break bigger tasks into more doable chunks so you don’t get discouraged or put things off for too long.
At the beginning of each week, try to prioritise your tasks based on whatever end-of-month goal you have set for yourself and then make a check list for each day you’ll be working from home. This will help you visualise what needs to get done and evaluate your performance at the end of each day.
Establish boundaries with friends and family
Just because you’ll be home more often doesn’t mean you can answer personal phone calls or entertain visitors at any hour, so make sure your family and friends understand that you are not to be disturbed during working hours.
If possible, switch off your phone or consider getting a second number that you only give out to work contacts. You can also set one or two specific times during the day when you check your personal email and social media as this will prevent you from getting sidetracked with personal matters when you should be working.
Make a point of leaving the house
Staying in the house all day every day can quickly wear you down, so make an effort to leave the house at least once a day to get a change of scenery and interact with real people. Even brief outings like a quick lunch with a friend or an afternoon yoga class can help you avoid burnout.