Taking control of your career in three easy steps

In today’s modern world, there are few young people who do not have the ambition to want to bag their dream career. Here are some top tips to help make you stand out from the crowd in interviews and give you the information that you need to take control of your job search.

Create a LinkedIn profile.

Social media is a great way to get involved in the world of work before you have even got a job. Professional networks such as www.linkedin.com enable you to set up your own individual online profile and make yourself available for employers across the UK (and the world) to view. It works a lot like a Facebook account (so don’t put any contact details on there) but revolves around professional connections rather than friendship groups.

  • Pack in as much relevant information as you can but remember to keep your language professional! If you don’t have any work experience, focus on what you can bring to a workplace (enthusiasm, good timekeeping etc.)
  • Make sure that your profile picture is professional. No selfies or silly poses! You don’t necessarily have to have a photo of you dressed like you would in an interview, but try to avoid looking scruffy. This could be the first time your potential employer sees you, so try and make sure it gives off the right impression.
  • In the summary section of your profile, it would be useful to write what it is that you are looking for. What industry is it that you would like to break into? Are you interested in an apprenticeship or an entry level role? Is there a particular sector that interests you?
  • You want a potential employer to read your profile and think ‘wow, this is a person who is eager to get started on the career ladder!’

 

 Make sure you’re social media savvy!

LinkedIn may revolve around professional connections rather than friendship groups but that does not mean that a potential employer will not take a look at your other social media profiles prior to your job interview. In his article ’10 social media habits that can kill your career’, Steven Tulman writes:

‘If you express something publicly, it is accessible by your current or potential employer and they use this information to determine if you are a good fit for their company. That’s the truth.’[1]

  • Avoid putting offensive language or material on your tweets / Facebook statuses (or any other profiles you have), it may seem like a funny idea at the time but it could mean the difference between you securing a job interview or having it cancelled!
  • Okay, so most people have photos from nights out on their social media profiles, it is a way of sharing your experiences with your friends after all! But try to avoid putting anything on there that you would feel uncomfortable with a potential employer seeing. A group photo of you and your friends all smiles before a night on the town is great, it shows that you are a well-rounded and likable person with an active social life outside of work. A photo of you with your head down the loo? Not so great, this would make you look unpredictable and unprofessional.

Employers are aware that your personal online profiles are going to show your personality and quirky side, but don’t let poor social media skills hold you back from the career ladder. Be smart and think before you post!

 Start blogging!

Starting your own blog is a great way of expressing your interest in a certain subject online. This is especially useful if you are interested in starting a digital marketing career as it showcases your writing abilities whilst also showing your enthusiasm for getting your message across to the online community. Whether you are interested in fashion or football, cooking or cars, there is no limit to what you can blog about!

  • Great news! Starting your own blog is free. Websites such as Blogger (blogger.com) or WordPress (wordpress.com) are great for first-time bloggers and are easy to use.
  • The more you write, the better you become! So blogging is also a great way to improve your skills and discover your own individual writing style.

 

[1] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-social-media-habits-can-kill-your-career-steven-tulman