Wherever you choose to dig up great content online, from scrolling through RSS feeds and blogs to building Twitter lists or waiting for a savvy friend to send you useful URLs, by choosing to share it on social media, you could be helping your career.
The content you share, and what you do with it, could enhance your social accounts and boost your credibility as a job candidate. Here’s how to get it right.
When to post about great content
If you’re currently in a job and looking for your next career move, be careful about when you post your content. Frequently posting during normal work hours will look suspicious to a potential employer – how do they know you won’t spend all day on Instagram instead of being productive?
The key exceptions to ‘working hours’ posts are those connected to your job: for example, tweeting about an industry conference you attend, or Instagramming a traffic-stopping flashmob used to generate PR for your company. In these scenarios, you’d be a fool not to update your social media, as a future employer wants to see your enthusiasm and team spirit.
Of course, sharing content during your lunch break or beyond office hours is understandable; nobody expects an employee to be chained to their desk 24/7. Just try to spread out your posts, especially on Instagram or Facebook, where even twice daily updates can seem a bit too keen. And use these findings from Sprout Social to pinpoint the best times to post on each channel – for example, Friday to Sunday is best for Pinterest.
The etiquette of sharing great content
The number one etiquette rule of sharing other people’s content is not to steal or plagiarise it. Admit that it’s not yours, and credit the creator, to maintain your own credibility, especially on Instagram, where people could easily assume the photos you post are your own work.
The Content Marketing Academy has a nice summary of things you can do instead of copying someone else’s content – for example, they suggest writing a piece on ‘six things we learned from this video’.
To just direct people to an original video, you could simply copy the URL and @-mention the creator or company, telling them why you liked it, but it’s great to have ideas about where you could take that inspiration, too.
If you stumbled across the content on a platform that lets you leave comments, why not leave your feedback there and then? Alternatively, when you’re blown away by a piece of content, such as a brilliant ad campaign, there’s nothing to stop you sending an email to the company and telling them directly. It never hurts to build a new industry contact!
How content sharing can enhance your career
Obviously, you don’t want your entire social media profiles to be dominated by glowing mentions of brands and businesses. You need to add personality, especially if you’re adding social accounts to your CV.
Personality doesn’t mean telling everyone the minutiae of your day, or airing your dirty laundry on social media, but an image of the sunset from your commute home, or your sports team doing well, can easily be sprinkled into your timeline.
Your overall social media presence, on the channels you make public to employers or recruiters, is a bit like a personality test that a hiring manager can check on. They know if you’re sloppy with spelling and grammar, if you’re indiscrete (such as constantly slating and ridiculing rival companies’ content), argumentative (engaging with trolls is best avoided, says the Guardian) or – in contrast – you’re full of good ideas and keen to get involved in the industry.
Think of content sharing as the backbone of your public-facing social media, and you’ll see how important it is to maintain.