Success Insights

Executive Careers: Are You Still Afraid of Social Media?Are you still afraid of social media?

I was absolutely tickled this weekend when I learned that my dear sweet mother had joined the millions on people on Twitter. Yes, my mother is on Twitter (and Facebook) and has caught on very quickly to the art of tweeting. Granted all of her tweets are to her children and end in “Love, mom”…she is not in the dark with technology. Kudos to mom!

So tell me why in 2013 do you feel like you can stay on the sidelines when it comes to social media and emerging technologies?

Think about this, how do you feel when friends or family who have known you for years, suddenly say, “So what kind of work do you do again?” Are recruiters and employers asking the same question when they see your resume?

Today’s competitive, crowded marketplace demands that you make a “noise” through social media tools, online networking resources and even email to get your message across to others. Introverted? No worries, here are 5 social media tools that you from invisible to digitally friendly.

A) Reach out and connect with your emails

With the volume of Internet usage and email communications, your email signature can be your digital business card.

  • Include key information like your title, personal brand statement, phone number, Linked and VisualCV url links.
  • Add your professional headshot and make a connection with your email recipients.

B) Get the best out of your LinkedIn profile

With more than 40 million members from around the world that includes top Fortune 500 executives and recruiters, LinkedIn profile can keep you in the front even when you’re not actively job hunting.

  • Use a branded headline (title header) and add specific information like profession, industry, expertise and geographic location.
  • Use update status feature to share information, expertise,  and industry-related articles.
  • Solicit recommendations from former colleagues, bosses, mentors and respected professionals in your industry.
  • Make your profile summary a compelling elevator pitch with relevant , acronyms and industry jargon.
  • Join groups and share your opinion, expertise and advice.

C) Go ahead and tweet

Now if my 70-something mother can get on Twitter so can you – it’s not just for entertainment. Identify and follow the trend setters and thought leaders in your industry, but be a giver and receiver of information. If you come across , don’t be afraid to re-tweet an interesting news article or blog post just the author credit.

D) Get a Facebook Profile

Now I will admit that I have two Facebook profiles – one for personal and professional purposes. What’s the value? It is another vibrant channel to promote your personal brand, follow companies, participate in industry/profession-specific networking groups, and re-connect with former colleagues and classmates.

  • Keep an updated profile updated with links to other social media activities for fresh and current content.
  • Take advantage of the “What are you doing” feature and routinely engage others in conversation and discussions.

Now all these first steps may look like a tall order, but keep in mind that career success is an ongoing effort. Which of these strategies are you doing now?

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Abby Locke is an executive resume writer and career transformation coach who helps emerging leaders, executives and professional women to craft compelling career narratives and standout brand profiles.

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