Leveraging Social Media for Career Exploration

Often, when we think of social media and career development, we think of networking and connecting to new people. Certainly this is a useful benefit of social media. But did you know that social media can be helpful for your career at any stage, even before you’re ready to start networking? In this post, I’m going to share a few ways that you can use Twitter and Facebook to explore and learn about different career options.

Twitter Hashtags

Twitter brands itself as an opportunity to “join the conversation,” and indeed it is! Following hashtags in your interest area is a great way to learn more about that interest and talk to others, even the experts themselves. To find new hashtags to follow, you can try a few options:

  1. Search Twitter for a topic that interests you – you’ll likely find links to articles, blogs, or discussions about the topic.
  2. Find a thought leader in your field, and pay attention to the hashtags they are using as they tweet.
  3. Follow professional associations or companies and see if they host a regular chat on Twitter, such as #Bufferchat, or if they are live tweeting a professional conference or tradeshow, like #APA2018 or #OutdoorRetailer.
  4. Look for a hashtag directory; the most useful will likely be hosted through an association or website specific to your field. Example directories* include these about politics, sustainability, higher education, and mental health.

Facebook Pages and Groups

Another way to explore careers is through Facebook. Like on Twitter, you can follow thought leaders, associations, and companies by liking their pages. Another option that’s popular on Facebook is to join a group for people exploring or studying a given career field, where you can ask questions about the field and how to enter the career. Some example groups* include:

Perhaps you prefer to spend your time on other social media platforms; you can use these strategies on those platforms as well. Some people use Pinterest boards to gather career ideas, and others network through blogging platforms like Medium or WordPress. Regardless of where you spend time online, the common thread is that you can use these social platforms to not just read about a career field, but also engage with those working in it.

*Linked resources and groups are not endorsements and for example only.

By Kyle Inselman
Kyle Inselman Director, Alumni Career & Professional Development