Careers expert has revealed how to use your networks to boost career

Careers expert reveals how you should use your social network to boost your career – including developing a personal brand and using your ‘social time’ wisely

  • Careers expert shares five easy ways to use your network to boost your career 
  • On average people have 500 connections that could lead to job opportunities 
  • She also revealed the importance of building a personal brand online 

A careers expert has revealed several ways you can use your social network to boost your career. 

Sarah Seymour, who works for social networking site LinkedIn, urges anyone hunting for a new job to take full advantage of their connections – as an average person has over 500 connections that could possibly lead to job opportunities. 

The professional has unveiled her five top tips – including having an up-to-date social media profile, connecting with friends online and developing a strong personal brand.

1Understand that your social communities have a role to play in your career progression

Any connection could offer real-life job opportunities, as you never know what connections will be useful 

Our latest research has found 17 per cent of Brits recognise the value of their social community in the job-seeking process and just 12 per cent actually use social media to build connections to help progress their career. 

‘With the average person having 500 connections – rising to over 1,000 for young people (18-24) – they could be missing a trick. Any one of these connections could lead to real-life job opportunities.

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2. Use your ‘social time’ to maximise your opportunities 

In today’s digital age, recruiters are increasingly using social channels in their search for candidates – yet the role of social media in the job hunt is widely undervalued. 

Our research found that the average social media user spends six hours a week browsing for leisure, an activity many (50 per cent) describe as simply ‘killing time’, compared to just one hour they spend for professional purposes.

It’s great to see what your family and friends are up to or the latest trends from Paris Fashion Week, but just spending a little bit more time engaging for professional purposes could make a big difference.

It’s worth spending a little of your down time for professional purposes. Sarah says that just an hour a week will help you see the change 

3. Use your community to its full advantage 

While the adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ doesn’t necessarily ring true when it comes to landing a role, it can certainly help you get a foot in the door and open the lines of communications with the right people. 

According to the research, 56 per cent think knowing someone in the industry or company through friends is the biggest advantage to getting a job, but this doesn’t need to be limited to people you know. 

Don’t be afraid to get in touch with people who work in the industry or at a company you’d like to apply for – according to LinkedIn data insights 70 per cent of people who recently changed jobs were connected to someone at their new company.

4. Pay attention to your personal brand

It might sound simple but having an up-to-date and active LinkedIn profile is key to boosting your network. 

You can use the platform to shout about your recent successes, comment on industry news or even write a post – all of this helps you stand out and get noticed. It’s also worth paying attention to referrals and endorsements.

Referrals can increase your chances of hearing back from a recruiter by up to four times, while the fact that someone else has taken the time to write a few positive words about your abilities speaks volumes.

While Sarah doesn’t advocate ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, she suggests getting in touch with other professionals in your industry for advice 

5. Embrace professional networking

On LinkedIn, interacting with your professional community is just like how you would interact with your wider social circles. By following companies, sharing industry news and liking content – you are making yourself more visible to the right people.

In fact, tonight we are opening The Linked Inn – a pop-up pub where you can land a job with some of the UK’s hottest companies (John Lewis Partnership, Lloyds Banking Group to name but a few) with your after-work drink.

According to our recent data, the average job search takes almost six weeks (41.2 days), with the biggest time drains including finding the right role to apply for and lengthy application processes. 

We want to show people that the job hunt needn’t be as arduous as they think and they can use their community to advance their career.

The Linked Inn is a new pop-up pub created by professional network LinkedIn where punters can land themselves a job with their after-work drink. Some of the UK’s hottest companies, including Amazon and John Lewis Partnership, will be advertising vacancies on the ‘live job specials board’, and aims to tackle the arduous job-seeking process by showing how people can use their community to help them advance in their career. The Linked Inn is open on 5th and 6th March between 5pm – 9pm.

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