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5 Tips for Using Social Media for Your Career

Last week I got an email from Mark, who’s throwing himself head first into social media. He’d seen my social media resume on Slideshare (which I really need to update - it’s two years old at this point), and was looking for some suggestions on things he should be doing to help market himself through social media.

Here are my top five tips…

1. Borrow shamelessly, but be yourself.

The concept for the social media resume I created on Slideshare was shamelessly borrowed from another one I had seen - but that was created with Flash. There are no rules, here. I’ve seen people slide-for-slide rip off the one I made, and I think that misses the point.

Do something that infuses your personality and showcases your specific set of skills, whatever that may be.

2. Go slow.

I’ve seen articles that recommend joining every social network under the sun, but I don’t agree with that approach. I think there’s only so far you can spread yourself.

3. Do it with gusto!

The people who thrive in social media really let their personality come through, put in the time, and use their chosen platform regularly. If you’re going to blog, try to blog every week. If you’re going to use Twitter, pop in each day and interact with a few people.

4. It won't happen overnight.

For the first few months, I was excited when I had a dozen people reading my blog. Almost three years later, some unique opportunities now present themselves to me.

Some of them are because people know me from my work, but more often, it’s because my work in social media has allowed me to build new skills that are valuable right now. Which also means…

5. You can't connect the dots looking forward (you can only connect them looking backwards).

That’s a Steve Jobs quote from his Stanford Commencement speech in 2005. I love that quote, because it’s been so true for me. I didn’t start blogging to brand myself or anything.

I started blogging because I had ideas I wanted to share, and it was an easy and affordable way to share them. The things I’ve done for the love of it don’t always pay off financially, but sometimes they do. And you never know which ones will and won’t until after the fact.

Any tips you would add?