I'm an American expat living in the Netherlands, working as a social media consultant and writer. Wh...
Social media for professionals21 March 2013, by Molly Quell
Moving often disrupts one’s professional network. You leave behind colleagues and classmates who have been a positive influence on your career. Social media can help you stay in touch and develop a new network in your new country.
Stay in the know
Use social media to keep yourself up to date with everything going on in your industry. Follow prominent members of your industry on Twitter or on Google Plus. Use Google Reader or another aggregator to subscribe to their blogs or columns.
Also, follow companies in your industry or companies you might like to work for on LinkedIn and Facebook. You don’t want to become out of touch with the latest technological developments or industry regulations.
The most obvious example of using social media for professional promotion is LinkedIn. You can put your entire CV online with LinkedIn as well as a portfolio of your work, course history, and other information.
However, Facebook also offers several CV apps, which you can install on your profile to showcase your CV. Applications such as Innovate CV allow you to create a virtual CV and share it with your Facebook network.
Writing about your industry can be a great way to keep yourself engaged with the latest industry news and demonstrate to potential employers that you’re knowledgeable.
Regularly updating a blog can also show that you’re dedicated to a project and reliable. If you’re going to blog with a professional focus, don’t include unrelated information (such as family photos) and be sure to properly edit your posts for errors.
You can use Twitter in a similar fashion. Link to interesting articles about your industry and be sure to include your own short commentary. As with blogging, stay focused and don’t post anything unprofessional.
If you both blog and use Twitter, be sure to connect your blog to your Twitter account so that when you publish a new post, it automatically appears on your Twitter feed.
Photo by plantronicsgermany on Flickr
If you’re planning on using a variety of sites for professional purposes, ensure that your information matches in all of them and that information matches what is on your CV. You don’t want a potential employer to receive your CV and wonder why the information is different on LinkedIn!
LinkedIn also has a great feature that shows you what you need to do to get to 100% profile completion. The more information you include in your profiles, the easier it is for people to find you.
Expand your network
Maximize your social media experience by using it for networking. Embrace your existing networking by connecting with your former and current co-workers on LinkedIn. If they are active on other social media sites, then connect with them there as well.
Make the effort to connect with any new people you meet. If you go to an event, follow up by following those people on Twitter, connecting on LinkedIn, or subscribing to their blog.
Participate in discussions on LinkedIn groups, especially those for your industry and those specific to your location. Many Facebook pages also turn into discussion sections. Contributing to these discussions can keep you in the loop while also giving you the opportunity to connect with new people.
You can use Twitter to introduce yourself to new connections. Follow people in your industry and respond to their posts. If your own Twitter account is active and relevant, they may follow you as well. Whenever you meet them at an event, you already have a connection.