If you are on Instagram, say "cheese!"
Even if you did not say cheese, quite a few others have based on a recent set of statistics released by Facebook.
Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said that the service has:
- 16 billion photos have been shared to date
- 1 billion likes happen each day
- 130 million users are now on the service
Holy smokes! That's a lot of activity. Let's try zooming in on the metric that has caught my eye the most - 130 million users. Out of 130 million people on Instagram, could there be companies and recruiters there who may want to hire you? The answer of course, is yes! (Or, "si," if you speak Spanish.) That being said, I could not help but ponder how one could leverage Instagram for finding work. About 20 minutes or so later, I had enough notes to write a blog post about it. If you care to read it, here it goes. (Insert musical introduction here. Maybe some Lenny Kravitz.)
For this strategy to work, I HIGHLY suggest that you create a secondary Instagram account. In this way, you do not have to worry about embarrassing photos from a certain party or bathroom selfies you might not want a certain employer to see. And when setting up this new Instagram account, use your name (if it is available) or your name and your profession. For example:
- John _Doe
Once you have decided on a username, the next thing I want you to do is create a very short bio about who you are and the type of work that you do. When you do this, make sure that it is compelling and something that would be attractive to the people you are targeting. Here are a few samples off the top of my head.
- Elementary education teacher with 5 years experience seeks an opportunity with a small independent school.
- I am a Clinical Practice Assistant for a health maintenance organization, utilizing writing, research, and leadership skills to serve patients and keep my employer happy.
- As a Quality Assurance Analyst I test, break and debug all day, every day. Sloppy coders fear me.
Instagram lets you add a website link to your profile as well. I suggest that you add a link to your LinkedIn profile or online resume. I also suggest that you add a professional looking photo for your profile photo, one that projects a business image. (Ideally, not one where someone else is cropped out or other people are with you. A good neutral background is preferred.)
Now once that is done, let's consider the photos you will share on your (professional / gimme a job) Instagram account.
- Photos of you working. (At your cubicle, on a client site, whatever is applicable to what you do)
- 15-Second videos of you demonstrating your skill. (Like a makeup artist showing her skills over time.)
- Photos of companies where you have worked. (Add comments about what you did at each company, especially as it pertains to the value you delivered.)
- Photos of attendance at conferences and/or industry-related events.
- Text images of industry related comments
- Use notes app on iPhone for longer posts
- Find companies you want to work for and follow them.
- Find people who work at companies you would love to work for, network with them by liking their photos, leaving comments and sharing like interests by using some of the hashtags they use in your photos (but only as applicable).
- Research related hashtags:
- Research the companies you are following and use the hashtags they use. This will help you get discovered by the people who work there. (Make sense?)
- Research hashtags that are related to the industry you work in. Not only will this aid in your networking with others in your field, it also makes it easier for a recruiter to do a search on Instagram and find you.
- Create tags relevant to your career and tag your photos as appropriate. Not only will this aid in your networking with others in your field... you get the idea.
So, do you like this idea? If so, set up your (professional / gimme a job) Instagram account, then link to it below. Why? It will make it that much easier for recruiters to find you. Provided of course that they discover this article. You never know.
As we are on an Instagram tangent, here are a few cool tools you might want to check out.
- Recite This: No time to take a photo? Or, you have photo block? ("Photo block" is like writer's block, but its for photographers.) Simply type in some text and "Recite This" will convert your text into a work of art worthy of being shared on Instagram. Nifty!
- Nitrogram 50: Want to find the most popular brands on Instagram? Nitrogram 50 is the place to be. It features the top 50 companies on Instagram and goes all the way to 1,000+. You can also search it to zero in on the company you fancy as well.
- Statigr.am: Want stats to see how well your photos are doing? Look no further! I just discovered this tool, but so far I like what I see.
Okay, I've ranted long enough. Time for a quick selfie, then back to work. Catch you later on Instagram! Later...