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How to use Instagram to boost your career prospects (and land your dream job)

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From Nikki Giava and Desi Perkins, to Jessenia Gallegos and Claudia Alende, there are plenty of people out there who have managed to turn their Instagram accounts into lucrative careers. Through their photos, they offer their followers a sneak-peek into unique aspects of their lives – and, in return, big brands pay them huge amounts for sponsored posts.

But, while there’s no denying that a great profile can make you a lot of money, it also comes with its own plethora of difficulties, too. Indeed, a group of Insta-celebs will be appearing at Stylist Live 2017 (buy tickets here) to reveal how they deal with all the highs and lows of internet fame, as well as their advice on how to use social media responsibly.

If you don’t dream of becoming a digital star, though, don’t turn your back on Instagram: the social networking site has very real-world benefits for all of us, especially when it comes to landing that dream job.


Read more: These are the eight words you should avoid when writing your CV


With this in mind, we asked Mike Bandar, founder of Hopper HQ (the world’s only fully automated Instagram scheduling tool) for his top tips on using Instagram to transform our career prospects – for the better…


1) Network

“‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, is a phrase which has been said time and time again and has become a cliché phrase. However, it has a huge amount of truth to it. For people who are looking to move into more niche careers such as modelling, music, dance and more, Instagram can be an incredibly useful mechanism for connecting with other top people within those spaces. Build relationships with already influential people within your dream field, engage with them, comment and like, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

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2) Visual representation

“I repeatedly see influential people using Instagram to reach their followers and fans in a creative and visual way – something which is more difficult to do with other social media channels. Because of the visual aspect of Instagram, it’s the top place for people to find other people within their sectors, and provides a great environment for growth. It’s now common practice for employers to check potential candidate’s social media accounts, make sure yours showcases your talents and shows you off.”


Read more: The most common CV mistakes and how to avoid them, plus key questions to ask at interview


3) Social validation

“Another way Instagram can help people land their dream gig is through social validation. Instagram is renowned for being the platform easiest for growing fanbases and followers – and this is why it is so useful in terms of validating your skills in your given sector. People will have more trust in your page, and are more likely to follow you themselves if you have a large number of followers. Having followers and getting likes and comments will also have a positive affect on you. By seeing people supporting you it should give you a huge confidence boost, and allow you to carry on making content that is better and better!”

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4) It’s a free marketing tool!

“Many people do not realise how useful a tool Instagram is for putting yourself in front of brands and potential partners/employers. It’s not just a social media platform it’s a marketing tool, so keep this in mind. Not only does it give you the opportunity to market yourself to 700 million active monthly users, but Instagram lets you do this for free! We’ll all agree that the person who gets the job is always the person who ‘seems’ the best, even if in actual fact they’re not. This is why Instagram is so good at helping people reach the right type of people – you can make yourself seem like the best fit for whatever job you like, for free.”


Read more: The one thing you should never include on your LinkedIn profile


5) Fail to prepare – prepare to fail

“As I mentioned earlier, standing out during the recruitment process is key – however, Instagram allows you to make a name for yourself within a space, using unconventional methods, before you ever get into the interview room. There are endless opportunities to be creative and make noise within your space without the usual limits of a traditional interview process – this is what makes Instagram so useful in terms of making an impact which will benefit you when looking for your dream job. As previously mentioned, Instagram is checked by employers, so if you’re already engaging in your field, sharing relevant content and building an audience in that sector, the employers are only going to put a big tick next to your name.”

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6) Is Instagram right for your dream job?

“Obviously if you’re looking to become an apprentice accountant, the likelihood is that what you do on Instagram will have very little bearing on whether you get the job or not. However, for people within competitive fields like fitness, dance, modelling, social media, and marketing industries it can be an extremely worthwhile tool. This also goes for people within the creative and skill based industries, like photographers, graphic designers, florists and artists – who might find it difficult to find jobs through normal recruitment processes. Keep in mind that unless you’re private, everyone can find and see your page, make this work in your favour and be smart with how you represent yourself online.”


Read more: LinkedIn says these are the most promising career paths for 2017


If you want more tips and guidance on how to use Instagram, head over to the Hopper HQ Social Media Insights blog, we share advice on topics like the best captions and hashtags to use, as well as how to make your Instagram feed pop.

Stylist Live brings everything you love about Stylist magazine to life across three days of experts, interviews, comedy, food, beauty and fashion exclusives.
10 -12 November, Olympia London. Find out more at: live.stylist.co.uk

Images: Drew Graham

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