Social media has become a valuable tool for job seekers, but it can present some pitfalls, too. Well over 90% of recruiters check candidates’ online presence. If you are currently or soon will be looking for work, it could be time for some social media “spring cleaning.”
Consider these steps to review and clean up your online image, along with tips on how to leverage social media during your job search.
What can someone find out about you via social media? Google yourself, and use a computer that is not logged into your profile to look yourself up on every social media platform you use, notes Career Center. What photos, posts and comments are visible? What kind of image do you present?
Fix Your Image
If there is anything questionable, fix it.
- Un-tag yourself from photos that are unflattering, indiscreet or unprofessional.
- Delete tweets and posts that may appear bitter or controversial.
- Deactivate old and unused accounts.
Keep it PG
Even after you’ve tightened the privacy settings on all your accounts, be careful what you post. Ask yourself, “Would I want my grandmother to see this?” When in doubt, leave it out.
“In today’s world, your online self is an extension of your offline self. Your personal profile is an extension of your public profile,” says Career Minds. ‘If you don’t want a boss, a friend, or a future employer to see a post, don’t take the risk.”
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
If you’re looking for a job, you don’t have to disappear from social media altogether. Instead, use your online presence strategically to connect with others in your field and advance your career. Follow people, blogs, news sources and company websites that reflect your passions, the leaders you admire and industry trends.
“Post, share, or retweet anything related to the industry you’re in or want to be a part of. When a hiring manager sees that the mission of their company falls in line with your own brand, they’re even more likely to consider you for a position,” The Muse says.
LinkedIn is a popular social networking platform for job seekers. To get started on LinkedIn, create a profile, complete with a professional-looking photo, that describes your skills and experience. You can follow companies in your profession, learn about and connect with their leaders and keep informed about open positions.
Proceed with Caution
Remember to protect your image in all your social media interactions. Use accurate grammar and spelling. Engage regularly and respectfully.
Describe yourself consistently across platforms. Job titles, companies and dates that don’t jive could be a concern for prospective employers, notes The Balance Careers.
Social media opens the door to a world of business opportunities. Used wisely, it can provide the information and connections that will aid you in your job search.
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