The strategic use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can give you the edge in a competitive jobs market.
"These days it is difficult to find a job in the sports industry," says Fonville. "There are not many vacancies and the competition for them is huge. Around 30 per cent of jobs are visible online, which means that 70 per cent of jobs are not visible to everybody. For this reason your network is very important. Through your network you can find those extra jobs to enhance your chance of a job in the sport you like."
As a social network tailored towards professionals it is imperative to have a presence on LinkedIn.
"Everybody has their own reasons to have a LinkedIn account," says Fonville. "The most important one is to build a network with business contacts of people you have worked with or know. LinkedIn shows people you probably know through second and third-degree networks, which is useful. It is very important to have a fully up-to-date account as more and more employers look at LinkedIn to view your profile, CV and network."
Facebook can also be an important method of selling yourself as a brand. But ensure those embarrassing photos aren’t accessible by potential employers.
"Facebook is more of a personal tool than a professional one like LinkedIn, but it can help you to strengthen your 'personal brand'," says Fonville. "If you are using Facebook for fully personal reasons, use the privacy settings as companies don't want to see your private messages and pictures. More and more companies are using Facebook to reach their audience with large marketing campaigns.
It’s nice to know what they do and how they do it and of course they also post jobs online."
Twitter can be a useful tool in a job search, but you don't need to fully immerse yourself in the service.
"You don't have to tweet a lot yourself; you can follow people or companies that fall under your interests," says Fonville. "With Twitter's search engine you can also make specific searches with phrases such as 'sport job', 'sport vacancy', 'working in sports' etc."
Developing your online brand is not just about utilising services such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
"Using social media is a perfect way to create and improve your personal brand, to look for jobs and get in touch with people from the sports industry," says Fonville. "However, having your own website or blog can further strengthen your brand and through social media you can spread this to your followers. I have met a couple of people who found a job by using social media and blogs because they built an online identity."
Fonville adds: "Don't wait or hesitate to invest in yourself through social media. You are building a network and hopefully these services can help you make a career within the sports industry."
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