Let's be honest; social media is not something that is commonly associated with engineering jobs. Ten years ago if you had asked an engineer graduate as to how he or she were to find a job, the answer wouldn't have been 'the internet'. But more specifically, they definitely would not have said 'social networking'. Social platforms have changed the way humans interact with each other, on and offline; impacting everything from bringing people from around the world into the same room using Skype to using a collaborative cloud storage space for work colleagues. You may not think it but even for engineers that are searching for jobs, using a variety of social platforms can indefinitely boost their chances. This article investigates which are the best platforms to use, and how to utilise them effectively in effort of securing an engineering role in the industry.
Engineering is growing with advanced technology and more people are taking an interest in the industry, especially the female engineers who want to return back to university and learn more. The beauty of social platforms from a job hunting perspective is the raw networking potential for both male and females. Through different websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, you can follow peers or professionals in their work. In 2012, a study was conducted by Cal Gavin - process engineering solutions, revealing how popular social media platforms were with engineers. The findings were as follows:
• 61% of engineers use social media for work related activities.
• Of that 61%, Facebook is used the most, then LinkedIn, Google + and Twitter finally.
• It is predicted that through 2013 Google +'s usage will sky rocket.
• Pro Rata, LinkedIn is the most used social platform; however more people log onto Facebook.
By utilising these social platforms you can build relationships with potential bosses, employees or even just general people in the industry who might be able to give you advice. The same study revealed that the majority of engineers use social platforms for learning, which will no doubt help you in your search for a job. Here are some ways you can use social platforms to interact with people.
• Facebook - Following top industry heads, reading their statuses and commenting on their pictures. Facebook is more of a personal social platform which can make it a bit more difficult to connect on a professional level.
• Twitter - Use Twitter to follow peers closely. Twitter is great for sparking an engineering debate between people.
• Instagram - See what fellow engineers are up to through their collection of pictures. Through hash tagging, you can narrow down your search to find exactly what you are looking for on the social platform.
• LinkedIn - Perhaps the most important out of all the social platform sites. In 2012, over eight million engineers were using LinkedIn. Engineers can use LinkedIn completely to their advantage, sending away emails to people of importance whilst being able to engage in debate through the forums and groups.
On all of these websites you should be able to create your own public profile. Keep it tidy and professional.
There are other ways that you can get ahead of the game by using social media platforms.
Recently a child engineering star from Sierra Leone was picked up on YouTube; the fifteen year old had created out of scrap metal a battery, using baking soda and acid to power his family home. For engineers looking for jobs, it seems that having a YouTube channel might be the right thing to do. There is definitely a lack of engineering channels on YouTube; so why not get involved and upload some of your own work to show off to employers what you are up to.
Also, by trawling through well-known social sites like Mashable you can find many articles to read and share with your engineering peers. With practically thousands of articles to read on specific topics, you can use your social platforms as a base to collate all your work-related thoughts. The internet is your social platform for industry news, so keep ahead of the game and socially tweet and share stories on a regular basis.
Do keep up to date with the latest job news online, the engineering industry is expanding so be sure to regularly check in on live engineering news; the Telegraph engineering job page features all the information you may need from industry news to access to career tools, take advantage of these resources.
In conclusion, engineers that have an online social profile and presence are automatically putting themselves ahead in the game. With unemployment levels rising, it is now more important than ever to cover all bases and truly demonstrate to employers why you are perfect for the job before you even meet them.