You've heard the horror stories: a job applicant gets turned down because his potential employer discovered his objectionable tweets, or saw pictures of his keg party on Facebook. There is a lot of advice out there about keeping your online activity from hurting your career. But there's a flip side. When handled correctly, social media can help you professionally. You can use it to enhance your personal brand, establish yourself as an expert in a field, or demonstrate fluency with all things digital. The key is to be proactive about managing your activity and image.
It used to be that people were deemed to be experts based on their titles, years of experience, or length of their CVs. While those things are still important, especially in some circles, they're no longer the only ways to show credibility. "Status is much more democratic now. Expertise can be noticed more easily," says Soumitra Dutta, a professor in business and technology at INSEAD.
When it comes to advancing your career, there are three things social media is particularly suited for:
Building your personal brand.
Demonstrating your proficiency with all things digital.
Learning from your digital network
Once you've committed to using social media for professional purposes, it is easy to get started. Here are three things to do:
Figure out what space you want to play in.
Establish a presence.
Always Play by the rules