By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting
Did you know that social media can be more than just a place to connect with friends? When used correctly, it can also help you advance your job hunt and your nonprofit career. Blogs can keep you up to date on trends in the nonprofit sector, liking your favorite nonprofits on Facebook can help you learn more about different organizations and Pinterest can help you save images that inspire you.
Blogs can be a useful resource for young professionals looking to learn more about the nonprofit sector and how to make a good impression in the workplace. If you want to use blogs to help your job hunt and advance your career, start by following some blogs like this one, which is targeted toward young nonprofit professionals. You will get the most out of blogs written just for you that address your specific concerns (being new to the workforce and nonprofit culture). Finally, if you’re up for the challenge, create your own blog, which can help you demonstrate your talents and share helpful advice with other young professionals. Write posts that express educated opinions on issues facing the nonprofit sector, tips and tricks you have learned thus far and resources you would like to share with people in positions similar to yours. If you start a blog, be sure to share it on your Facebook page and your resume to show off your writing skills, passions and opinions.
The next thing you’ll want to do is follow nonprofits on Facebook and Twitter. If there are causes you really care about or organizations you would like to work for, be sure to like those organizations. Nonprofits share everything from events to relevant news and even job postings on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Check in at least once a day and read over anything you think may help you. Sharing these posts and commenting on them is also a good idea. It shows the organization you are paying attention, it brings awareness to the issue or cause, and it may also contain helpful information that you can link to that is of interest to your friends and followers. Remember, you are part of a social media network that can connect you to others and help you in the learning process.
Finally, Pinterest, the newest member of the social media family. Pinterest, while still growing and maturing, has potential for job seekers and young professionals. You can use Pinterest to share and find books and infographics that give insight into the sector, and you can follow nonprofit campaigns. “Repining” is the cornerstone of Pinterest. You can repin images from a nonprofit campaign to raise awareness among your followers, or, as one article suggests, you can save outfit ideas for interviews and appropriate workplace attire. You can even share photos from events you have volunteered at, which will raise awareness for a great cause and allow you to share your interests with friends and prospective employers. JVA’s Pinterest page offers book suggestions, nonprofit videos and features some great social enterprises.
It’s important to note that these days, employers are turning more frequently to social media to share their messages with supporters and potential employees—and there are a growing number of ways to make your social media accounts work for you. Take advantage of the social media platforms you are already using, and seek out information about those you are not.
If you use social media to acquire leads for jobs or to kick your career into high gear, share your tips with other young professionals below by leaving a comment.