Chances are that you already use social media every day to connect with friends and family — or to involuntarily end up in a rabbit hole of addicting alpaca GIFs and videos of melting raclette cheese.
But have you ever considered the fact that you could be using your time more wisely on social media to, perhaps, job hunt and advance your career?
Whether you're looking for a first job, on the hunt to find a new job or are just looking to advance your career by enhancing your skills or expanding your professional network, social media can be an invaluable tool.
These seven social media platforms can help you land your dream job — so long as you know how to leverage your contacts and extended networks on them.
Worldwide, there are over 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook as of March 2019, up from 2.27 billion monthly active users for Q3 2018. In other words, Facebook boasts an unparalleled number of users who make up a network that you can... well, network.
In fact, many of Facebook's users are active, too. There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users as of December 2016, which represents an increase of 23 percent year-over-year. And 1.52 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users. This means that, if you put it out there to your friends and family with whom you're connected on Facebook that you're looking for a job, many of them will see and engage with your status update.
Instagram boasts one billion users worldwide, which it announced at an in-office event in June. This is up from the 800 million users it had in September of last year, which was up by 200 million from the same time the year before. With so many pages, there's an Instagram account for everyone — foodies, wanderlusters, style gurus and more.
Follow your favorite Instagram accounts for career inspiration. If you want to pursue a career in the culinary arts, consider following some pages that post delicious recipes and irresistible, mouthwatering food videos. If you're interested in a job in travel, follow some of the most influential travel bloggers on Instagram for trip inspiration. And if you're obsessed with fashion and beauty, give some of your favorite style and beauty bloggers vloggers a follow on Instagram. Because the platform is so visual, it's ideal for inducing inspiration.
The total number of people who use YouTube is a whopping 1,300,000,000, who watch almost five billion videos on the platform every single day. They're spoiled for choice when it comes to content, as 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to MerchDope. YouTube basically exploded since the very first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23, 2005.
You can use YouTube to learn, develop and hone skills, since there are how-to videos on just about anything that you can imagine. If you want to learn how to cook, YouTube it. If you want to learn how to play the ukulele, YouTube it. If you want to learn how to code, YouTube it. If you want to learn how to build a house, YouTube it. If you want to learn how to file taxes, YouTube it. If you want to learn how to play professional poker, YouTube it. Whatever it is, you can YouTube it.
In fact, you can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages. covering 95 percent of the internet population — and rest assured that YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries. So, wherever you are and whatever language you speak, there's a video for you.
Twitter has 321 million monthly users, which is its lowest user figure in two years — but it's still a lot of users. The good news is that many companies still boast Twitter accounts and they use their pages to share company news. This news includes job postings regarding openings for which you can apply.
You can also use Twitter to follow job board pages to find new job ads easier than checking sites regularly. Job boards often tweet new listings that have been added to their sites and, since Twitter is often updated up to the minute, you can learn about these gigs earlier than usual.
Likewise, follow powerful women on Twitter to keep abreast of their career journeys and get inspired. Here are some recommendations of powerful women to follow on Twitter.
Reddit is an international phenomenon. As of March 2019, Reddit had a total of 542 million monthly visitors (234 million unique users), and it ranked as the no. 6 most-visited website in U.S. and 21st most-visited site in the world, according to Alexa Internet. More than half (53.9 percent) of its user base comes from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom at 8.2 percent and Canada at 6.3 percent.
These users are flocking to Reddit to talk with different communities on virtually any topic ever. If you want to find a likeminded community of UX designers, or astronomy enthusiasts, or medical experts, or video game gurus, or sports fanatics, or vocal activists or anyone else, you can find them on Reddit. You can use Reddit forums to ask career questions, get inspired, learn about industry news through links and information users share, and even network with others in your industry or industry of interest.
Slack isn't inherently a social media network, but there are Slack channels that people use socially. In May 2018, Slack said there were three million Slack users across 70,000 paid teams. Many of these users are tapping into dedicated public slack communities to connect and network with others in their industries.
There are Slack communities for all kinds of professionals, from designers and creative writers to programmers and entrepreneurs. Join a public channel to post updates, ask questions, get the latest scoop and news from others in your industry and network with other similar professionals.
Of course, LinkedIn is the best social media platform to use for advancing in your career. After all, the platform is designed for career people. There are 500 million total LinkedIn users, 250 million of whom are active monthly users and three million of whom share content on a weekly basis, according to Foundation Inc.
This means that you have tons of active users with whom to connect. Update your profile to reflect your career experiences and skills, share your career goals, search job openings through the LinkedIn job board (and even apply through LinkedIn), connect with professionals at companies where you want to work, network with current and former colleagues by tapping into your extended circle of contacts and find tons of career advice through articles that are shared across the platform on a daily basis.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.
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