Snapchat might not be just for teenagers and your more ironically social media savvy friends. 39% of users are between the ages of 25 and 44. It is one of the fastest growing platforms out there—with over 200 million active users—and is being used more by companies to highlight their achievements, new products, company culture, etc. The platform lets you share content to your friends (complete with doodles and captions and emojis) and have it be visible only for 1-10 seconds, depending on your preference. A new feature lets you string 24 hours worth of your snaps into something called a “Story.” There is also a chat function and a live video chat function much like FaceTime.
But did you know it could also come in handy during your job search? Snapchat can actually be a very effective tool for brand-building and professional development: think behind-the-scenes videos, demos, product giveaways, Q&A sessions, interview snippets, tutorials, and quotes. But how can you harness this creative potential in your job search?
1. Stalk your potential employers.
Seek out companies you’d like to work for then start paying attention to their social media output. How do they engage with their audience and followers? See if you can’t get in their heads, then praise them for this specifically in your cover letter or interview. You’ll get major points for social media savvy.
2. Tell a story.
Especially if your industry is a creative one, you can think outside the box a little and, instead of a boring old resume, tell a story about your life in snaps. Use video clips and pictures that recreate a sense of your experience and skills. Show off your capabilities and creative potential for a position by doing something innovative and different enough to help you stand out among the competition. Make sure you know your audience well enough (see #1) to try this move.
3. Network with key connections.
Once you’re following your desired companies, you can engage with the content they put out through Snapchat. Make sure you do so strategically—i.e. only when you have something of substance to contribute. But at very least you can get a great sense of who they are as a company and what they do by following their account.
4. Show off.
Rather than posting only silly selfies, try using Snapchat as a more aspirational career building tool. Set yourself up as an industry leader chronicling the achievements of you and your team, and showing potential employers your stuff—even before you start searching.
5. Learn something.
People are also using Snapchat to get free tutorials and industry advice. Find a business leader in your industry that has a feed and start following. You never know what you might learn about building your presence, increasing your productivity, or simply what the newest trends are in your field.