There are a number of professional social media networking platforms that may help you to connect with past, present and future colleagues, discover job opportunities tailored to your skill set and uncover interesting information to inform your career development.

Build your own profile

The benefits you get from interacting with these platforms depend on how comprehensive your profile is and how wide you make your social media footprint.

Filling out your work history and expertise allows potential employers and recruiters to find you through search functionalities. Connecting with more people, job networks, recruiters and businesses can lead potential employers to your profile. These platforms also use your profile data to suggest relevant job opportunities.

It’s a good idea to include a photo and to write a succinct personal summary. This should highlight your strengths and the kind of opportunities you’re looking for.

A number of these platforms can also function as an online resume. You can list your work experiences, key achievements and specific projects you worked on. Also include your education history, and add all the skills you want to be known for.

You can modify your privacy settings to control how you appear online.

Smarter job searching

Platforms such as LinkedIn and JobActive allow you to apply for advertised positions directly through their site. This is why having a profile on these sites is a good idea. It means you’ll see jobs that match your skills.

You can also let recruiters know you’re looking for new opportunities. This could lead to recruiters contacting you about potential jobs. Even a short-term engagement could be a stepping stone or a foot in the door.

If you find a particular company that you’re interested in, you can follow company pages, which will allow you to keep up to date with latest news and any vacancies that may come up.

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