Today we introduce Muriel Clark who will be a regular contributor to our blog. Muriel has joined Women Returners as our Digital Media Expert, following her own career break. She will be managing many of our online communications from now on and we are delighted to have her on our team.
After a 4 year career break and no Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter accounts, I felt out of touch with social media platforms. While I was contemplating returning to work, I realised I had to do something. I had to jump in. So I embarked on a mission to familiarise myself with social media and develop a professional credible online profile.
If you are looking to get back to work and are Twitter shy or LinkedIn adverse, fear not, you can teach yourself a few basic things that really can help to kick start your career.
Before you start, it is worth assessing your online presence by “googling” yourself. Potential employers will check your online credentials. With this in mind, and if you have been prolific on Facebook with personal matters, consider removing inappropriate posts.
LinkedIn and Twitter are the best tools for building your professional network and staying current with relevant information. Start by building your profile on LinkedIn. This can be daunting, but start with a skeleton of your CV, an outline of your career, your interests, education and volunteering experience. Read our previous blog for details on how to set up your profile, develop your network and job search on LinkedIn. Your new network will be invaluable for job searching, gaining references and endorsements and getting introduced to new contacts.
Twitter is another useful platform to rebuild your professional network. I know what you are thinking. What shall I tweet about? Well, you do not need to tweet to get started; you can adopt a rather passive approach that will show your areas of interest and more importantly keep you abreast of real time news on topics, individuals and organisations that you have carefully chosen. You can be a follower (on Twitter that is) and that’s fine for now. Look at potential employer campaigns, find out about their current issues, research topics related to women returning back to work and employment diversity. Follow your favourite publications. Once you are confident, you can start “retweeting” useful information. And if you get the twitter bug, you might start tweeting your own thoughts before you know it.
Social media is not rocket science. Embrace it as little or as much as you want. You can make the most of social media without having to post something groundbreaking every 5 minutes. It is about embracing an effective medium to revive your career by growing your network and uncovering a new world of opportunities, sharing content as you see fit and not falling into a pool of information overload.
As for me, I have gained confidence and expertise in social media by doing the above and completing courses which were paramount to revive my career in marketing communications. I was lucky to be part of the Back2BusinessShip course (sponsored by Golin, Starcom Mediavest and F1), an excellent programme for women wanting to go back to their PR/Media/Marketing/Communications careers. I have completed comprehensive social media online courses (more on courses in a future blog). And thanks to my expertise in social media and refreshed marketing communications skills, I have recently joined Women Returners as their Digital Media Expert.
Posted by Muriel