As the workforce ages and transitions to the next career phase, they’re looking for new ways to network, find job leads, and build a personal brand that truly reflects their interests and expertise. Social media is where they can showcase their work, discover the latest info about their field, and connect with others.
If you’re ready to put yourself out there on social media, but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a guide for finding the platform that’s right for you, building your online presence, and getting the most out of your time there. If you’re already on social media but are concerned you’re not “doing it right”, we have some tips for you, too.
In this installment, we’ll look at some of the best platforms for professional networking: LinkedIn, Quora, and Behance.
If you’re considering a career change and you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, run, don’t walk to linkedin.com and set up a profile. Not every industry community gathers on LinkedIn, and there are certainly many other job sites out there, but it still is one of the best places to connect with current and former co-workers, share your resume, and learn about new job opportunities. Once there, you can search job listings, link to your online portfolio, find and share industry news, seek out advice, and share your expertise.
Some of your best job leads may come from a listing on LinkedIn coupled with an intro from one of your connections. While many users only frequent the site when they’re looking for a job, LinkedIn has tried to address the perception that the site is only for job seekers by expanding the platform to include blogging, a timeline similar to Facebook’s for sharing news and links, and Groups. They’ve also added a marketplace for freelancers called ProFinder that connects them with short-term gigs. Their premium offering lets you connect directly with recruiters, see who is viewing your profile, and even access career coaching and online courses.
- Put in the time to make sure your profile is complete and age-proof.
- Connect with present and former colleagues. Don’t connect with anyone you wouldn’t feel comfortable endorsing or whose work product you’re unfamiliar with.
- Stay abreast of trending news by following industries and influencers in your area of expertise. In turn, share links and information of interest to your network to show you’re in the know.
- Use the Job Seeker tools to find opportunities and discover connections to your dream company.
- Be generous with recommendations and referrals. You’ll see the Karmic payback!
Subject matter experts have populated Quora over the years with information, answers, and advice on everything from parenting to coding to entrepreneurship. It has long since eclipsed Yahoo Answers as a place to give and receive quality advice and information. As it’s a platform for the written word, it isn’t for everyone. But it’s a good place for someone who is looking for ways to establish themselves as an expert in their field, grow their reputation, or market their business. Participants not only ask and answer questions, but also interact with one another by voting on answers and connecting with other community members in Spaces.
- Connect with your network using Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn authentication.
- As with any online community, start slow by reading a lot, following topics of interest, and voting up good answers by regular contributors.
- Before answering questions in your area of expertise, read other answers. Your answer should build on prior ones and contribute your experience.
- Look at the many ways you can market yourself or your small business with thoughtful answers and strategic links.
Behance is a platform for graphic artists and designers to showcase their work. Adobe Portfolio, included in the subscription-based Creative Cloud service, integrates with Behance and makes it even easier to share visual projects. Behance allows creatives to build profiles around Projects: images, videos, and other digital content with a particular theme or process. Each Project has a view and Appreciation counter so you can track how many people have viewed your Project and given you an Appreciation, or kudos on a job well done. Because it is a strictly visual platform, Behance’s categories only include creative fields like art direction, illustration, web design, and photography. If your specialty isn’t in this list, Behance is probably not the right fit for you.
- Complete your profile, including the past and current projects you feel best represent your work.
- Follow other creatives on Behance, both as inspiration and to connect with others in your field. Be sure to Appreciate the works you admire.
- Each Behance Project has a unique URL. Consider linking to your other social media profiles to make it even easier to share and get feedback on your work.
- Check out this video on how to create a Behance profile that will get you noticed.
Next time we’ll conclude our series with the ways you can use a blog to promote your personal brand.
Photo credit: Pexels