Jane Binnion column

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I’m enjoying a slightly quieter week this week as it’s half term.

Last week I was out and about running sessions for holistic therapists, HR managers and parents of teenagers. All of which I find really interesting, but the same issues are concerning everyone – people are quite nervous of social media and want to know how we can keep our children and our businesses safe online.

With it all being so new it’s totally understandable that people are cautious, but the bottom line for me is that these are tools and like any other tools, let’s take a drill for example, you have to take time to learn how to use them safely or risk an injury.

Some people sit and read the manual, other people will ask someone to show them, some just play around with it making a few mistakes until they figure it out, and then there are others who really aren’t interested in learning something new and prefer just to pay someone to do it for them.

But for me social media offers us a great range of free tools and when we get to grips with it they open up a whole new world of opportunities.

This week I’ve been contacted to work with academics to use social media for research and recently I’ve been asked by a number of people to teach them how to use social media to find a job.

These are great examples of exciting ways of using these new tools that not many people think about.

Let’s take job hunting. Social media is essentially word of mouth on a huge scale, so putting the word out that you’re looking for work is a very good plan, especially as it is said that less than 50 per cent of jobs are ever advertised.

And then there’s the issue that apparently 48 per cent of vacancies are only ever advertised on the platform LinkedIn, which means that if you’re looking for a new job, then that is a very good place to be.

I always tell people that there is someone out there right now looking for exactly what you offer, so you just need to be easy to find.

The other thing to seriously consider though, as 98 per cent of recruiters now check a candidate’s social media profiles, make sure your online presence is appropriate.

Google yourself and see what comes up. If it’s not the image that you want recruiters to see then have a spring clean.