How to sell yourself on social media

Photo of woman taking a selfie

Hint: it’s not through a good selfie

Yeah, yeah, we know social media is great for keeping in contact with friends, drooling over food and keeping your meme game on point. But social media has other benefits, too. It can be a great way of making yourself stand out from the crowd so that you can land a job.

Crafting an online identity

It’s easy to forget that what you say and do online carries the same weight as if it occurred in the ‘real world’. Your online identity affects you so it makes sense that it should be shaped in your favour.

Professional social media sites such as LinkedIn can be used to showcase your education, experience and talent. These sites also help you network by connecting you with peers in your industry and possible future employers.

You might think that posting a photo, making a comment or liking something online is harmless but that post or ‘like’ might come back to bite you down the track. How will you explain that unflattering photo or derogatory blog post at a job interview?

Social media content created years ago can easily be retrieved. For example, the whole Twitter archive of more than 400 billion tweets can be searched.

Popular social networking sites such as Facebook have an expectation that you use your real name when you open an account. So any information about you, positive or negative, can be found in just a few clicks.

Social media and your resume

When you finish your degree you will be one of hundreds or even thousands of graduates applying for a job. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need an online resume.

With an online resume, you can capitalise on networks that may not be as easy to access in your offline interactions. These networks include CEOs, professionals in your field, recruiters and other key influencers who you would not normally get to meet. Elon Musk is just a few clicks away!

You can also demonstrate more skills than a paper-based resume. You can show:

  • creative thinking
  • competence with ICTs
  • ability to think ‘outside the box’
  • initiative.

One of the easiest and most popular forms of an online resume is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a popular social networking tool with over 400 million members worldwide.

Use LinkedIn to create a professional profile and network with your industry. Find out how to optimise your LinkedIn profile with our Learning@Griffith eModule.

Social media in the workplace

Recent studies have shown that social media interaction during the workday helps boost productivity and retention.

Depending on your discipline, you might use social media for:

  • marketing and promoting your business
  • communicating with your colleagues or clients
  • researching your competitors
  • following experts in your field.

To make social media work for you, it’s important to know the purpose of each social networking tool and the different communication styles required.

Depending on the platform, there may be different standards of communication. On Twitter, it may be perfectly acceptable 4 ppl 2 tlk lyk dis while on LinkedIn, you may need to talk like this.

Many industries and disciplines have social media policies that govern how employees use social media in their personal and professional lives. For example, all registered health practitioners in Australia come under the AHPRA Social Media Policy.

Find out whether your employer or industry has social media guidelines before you use social media in the workplace.