Potential employers search for prospective employees and qualified job candidates using various means including LinkedIn and other social sites to find the best fit for their organization. In today’s world, the Internet has made it possible to share everything about our lives through social media channels. The ease of access and almost excessive sharing allows for personal information to be available for anyone to see, so it is very important for job-seekers to understand their online footprint and take the necessary steps to keep their pages or sites professional.
The following are our top four recommendations for maintaining a professional social media presence.
1. Privacy Setting – Review each of your social media sites and adjust your privacy settings as appropriate. Remember, any site listed as public is fair game for potential employers to review. Consider keeping personal sites private so that any content on these sites does not detract from your professional persona on public sites.
2. Housekeeping – Regularly monitor your social media accounts. Audit your sites for inappropriate photos and posts. Un-tag yourself and delete content that could be potentially misconstrued or present you in a negative light. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and delete. Also, it’s equally important to manage your members, followers and affiliations, as well as those whose content is captured on your main pages and news feeds.
3. Personal Brand – For all public sites, ensure your bios and profile photos are consistent. Post profile images in which your attire is professional and shot from your shoulders up. Maintain consistent professional handles across your public sites. Leverage your profile page to provide a solid representative first impression.
4. Keep it Current – Especially while you are job searching, keep your public sites up-to-date. Use keywords in your profile to maximize hits from recruiters and peer professionals. Maintain relevant career-focused connections (individuals and groups). Do not forget to leverage the functionality of the sites, such as LinkedIn skill endorsements and work samples, and do not shy away from talking about your professional achievements.
As a final note, ensure your contact information (such as email address and/or phone number) is clear and easy to see on your social media profiles; you want to make it as easy as possible for potential recruiters to get in touch with you. And remember to include your link(s) on your resume and email signature.