Using Social Media to Enhance Your Career

A good portion of the content was derived from Brad and Debra Schepp’s book ‘How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+’. You can use social media for networking and connecting with others in the industry, keeping up on the current trends, and becoming a resource for others. Social media changes rapidly so with this episode the guys mostly kept it to strategies that will help you no matter the platform with as few specific references as possible.

“Nearly everyone and their mothers have Facebook pages. Twitter has been credited with starting and helping to broadcast revolutions. LinkedIn now has virtually no competition in the professional social networking space.” ~ Brad and Debra Schepp

Episode Breakdown

11:10 Networking and Connecting With Others in the Industry

Join groups of local coders or language specific groups. Put yourself in front of potential employers and coworkers. Social media platforms provide a relaxed atmosphere to get to know the people you want to join in the workplace.

Use this to learn about the company culture and find common interests with future coworkers. You can also learn if a company may not be a good fit for you and where you want to go with your career.

Engage with companies you are interested in working with to increase your visibility to human resources and recruiters. Research the industry and the companies you are applying to work for to have more to say in an interview.

Lena stated in the episode on The Role of Recruiters that sometimes recruiters may have a resume that is up to 10 years old. Avoid this by turning your resume into a living document online. Treating your professional social media accounts like an online resume will give you a one to many relationship. Many recruiters and human resources personelle can view your resume when posted on just a few sites.

Post recent projects or blogs on relevent topics. Use the popularity of the social sites to post on topics relevant to your industry. You can create a rotating portfolio through reposting your work.

20:08 Posting Strategies

“It’s very apparent if you have a one-sided, what’s in it for me? mentality.” ~ Brad Schepp

Don’t make it all about you, share others content. Follow influencers and news sources in your industry and share their posts along with your own materials.

It’s easy to get on in the morning or evening and share a bunch of interesting stories and articles. However this overloads the feeds of your followers with just shares from you. These bursts of activity will cause you to lose followers.

Mix shares with personal content while remaining professional. This can be platform dependant. You want to mix in your own content with the shares. Also provide personal posts so that all of your content is not just self promoting. This adds a human aspect to your accounts.

26:00 Keep Up With Current Trends in Your Industry

Follow industry leaders and news resources. These can be podcasters, journalists, bloggers, or well known professionals. Ones in your industry or language.

Use this to demonstrate your ability to remain current. Have a list of influencers that you follow and be able to discuss new trends when going to interviews.

32:12 Becoming a Resource

The quickest way to become a resource online is by answering questions. However this can also be a quick way to a bad reputation. Look at the other answers before answering. Also provide code samples where relevant.

Share interesting content on your accounts. This can be platform dependant as well.

Develop your ‘Personal Brand.’ This is how you appear to the world. Make it a part of your daily process to present yourself in the best possible light. Don’t forget to add a human aspect to the image you are building.

Give more than you take. The Schepps suggest giving 4-5 times the amount you take. Avoid too much advertising and self promotion. Your focus should be on delivering useful content either your own or others.

41:40 Job Postings

Look beyond job sites to company feeds. Sometimes companies will post a position or opening on social media feeds before it goes to the job boards. If you are in the market be on the look out for these posts. If not share them to help your fellow developers and provide value to the company.

If you already follow the company and provide value you will be known to the people working there. It is easier to hire someone that is known than someone unknown. However do not go stalking the people who work at a company where you are interested in applying.

They will look you up but you can flip the script. Companies will look at your social media presence. You can do the same with them and look up the people who will be interviewing you. If you share a common interest bring it up in the interview. This adds to the human aspect and can help build trust on a team.

46:45 Types of Platforms

Social

These are ones like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Also in this are Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and SnapChat.

On the edge between social and professional are platforms like Reddit.

Professional

LinkedIn is basically an online resume and professional environment. Others such as StackOverflow, GitHub, and BitBucket blend professional and social but it is best to stay professional on these sites. They can be great for collaboration and asking or answering questions.

Job Boards

Be sure to keep your resume up to date on job boards like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, etc.

53:32 Wrapping it All Up

Have a game plan! Set aside some time each day for social media. Have a different task each day. Work on your profile one day, join or participate in groups another, ask or answer questions a different day. Don’t do this all at once. You can set your content to post throughout the day via some services.

Use content posting services to your advantage. There are several services available from paid to free.

Hyperlink your professional social media accounts to your resume. Companies will look you up so by providing the links you are acknowledging this fact.

Preview of What Not To Do

Don’t ask for a job. You are here to make connections, share, and grow with people. You can let people know that you are on the market and looking for a job. This ofcourse does not apply to job boards as the purpose there is to ask for a job.

Remain professional in all of your interactions. If needed make personal accounts private. Avoid talking about topics you would not discuss in a professional environment.

IoTease: Project

Infinity Mirror Box

An infinity mirror is actually multiple mirrors set up in a recursive manner. This project uses window tinting to partially reflect one side of the recursion. The project involves creating a cube frame for the mirrors, attaching the LED strips between the mirror and the Perspex surface with the window tint film.

The original project is not initially IoT but just the infinity mirror cube. To make it IoT we’re adding in an Arduino to control the colors and blinking of the LED strips. To get even fancier we could add a Raspberry Pi and replace one of the mirrors with a small flat monitor. This is a great starting point for lots of fun ideas.

Hardware

  • Wood
  • 5 Mirrors
  • LED strips
  • Wires
  • Adhesive
  • Perspex
  • Car Window Tint Film
  • Arduino/Raspberry Pi

Tricks of the Trade

Each week recruiters and HR do a search for new resumes on job boards like CareerBuilder or Monster. This trick was shared with me by a recruiter to help me stay at the forefront of the stack. Make slight change to resume every week on Sunday so it shows as a new one when HR and recruiters look for fresh resumes on Monday. This change shouldn’t be significant but just enough to where the job board recognizes it as a changed resume. Set aside a few minutes each Sunday night so your resume will appear in the new searches on Monday morning.

Editor’s Notes:

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