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Jane Firth, Senior Manager at Hays PA & Secretarial, the leading recruiting expert, explains how PAs can use social professional media to secure their next role:

Investing time in networking is important for any career and harnessing social media should be integrated in the mix. If you use your time online wisely it can help you to expand your network and possibly help you find a new job.

But there are some common traps to avoid, including not appreciating how easily your profile can be viewed by others. LinkedIn and Facebook are, arguably, two of the best social media sites to get involved in from a career perspective and outlined below is a list of top tips engaging with these sites.

Top LinkedIn tips:

  • Highlight experience. In most cases LinkedIn is the most effective social media tool to showcase your credentials in the business world. Only showcase information you’re happy your current and future employers to see.
  • Tailor content. When creating your profile, don’t just copy and paste your CV on to the website. Think about the language you are using and how it can entice employers to find out more about you.
  • Keep information up-to-date. Your profile online may be viewed as a reflection of your professionalism – so make sure information is up-to-date. Also make sure that there are no gaps in your work history (or an explanation where there is).
  • Creating links: Connect with industry professionals will help to show your experience and passion. Where possible, gather recommendations for your work, because it will help employers to understand your achievements from previous roles.
  • Join relevant groups: This will allow you to expand your networks and follow relevant and interesting discussions

Top Facebook tips:

  • Keep your private life private. Adding industry contacts is important if using it as a professional networking tool, but bear in mind that many people see Facebook as a way to keep in contact with friends and family so only add industry contacts if their Facebook profiles are work focused. If you consider Facebook to be there for your social life, not your career, make sure they can’t access it.
  • Be selective of the companies you select to ‘like’. You want to be perceived as passionate about the company you are applying for, not just looking at working for any company that will give you a job. Make sure there is an element of similarity in the companies that you ’like’ otherwise it may appear as though you have a scattergun approach to finding a job.
  • Join groups that reflect your interests. For example, PA and industry networks might be worth joining. It shows that you are passionate about your role and profession.
  • Say something sensible. The beauty of social media is that you can get involved in debates and discussions about things that matter to you and the industry you work in. Get involved, but make sure you have something relevant and reasoned to say. It’s a good way to get noticed and develop strong contacts.
  • Use it to learn about potential companies. Being part of a Facebook group can help with background research before an interview. You can look at the latest business developments and see what others are saying about the business.
  • Smile for the camera. Depending on your profession and what industry you work in, it is now almost inevitable that a potential employer will check your online profile. Employers aren’t expecting to see you in a suit or a corporate pose, but avoid 4am ‘worse for wear’ pictures.

For further information please contact Jane Firth on 0203 4650 016 or email