Thought Leadership Blog
By Kim Macey, Program Manager, Jose Ramirez Moran, Group Manager; and Sara Shingozhina, Senior Analyst, BNY Mellon
Over the last two months, we participated as facilitators for PA Women Work’s Job Club where we supported individuals experiencing a career transition through various professional development discussions. One of our most popular topics was centered on how a job-seeker can ensure their social media sites are more professional.
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.
By Taneshya Williams, Program Manager, 3 Cups of Coffee
When I was starting my professional career, I was a single mom, looking for a job, and trying to make ends meet. I wanted to be successful and worked hard to achieve my goals. I was determined to not accept help, but honestly, I didn’t even know there were resources available to me.
Now, as the PA Women Work 3 Cups of Coffee program manager, I often reflect on that period of my life. I know that I could have benefited from a mentor – a professional taking me under her wing to help me define my goals, answer my questions and find a path to success. Being in the position I’m in now, I’m honored to have the opportunity to help women facing similar challenges by connecting them with individuals who can mentor and guide them.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to give back, consider being a career mentor to another professional or job-seeker. In my experience, here are the top four benefits to mentoring:
1. Give back – Mentoring someone is an incredible way to give back in a meaningful way. With 3 Cups of Coffee, it’s a small time commitment that can be worked around your schedule. It allows you to help others grow from your personal experiences, and you can make a real impact on someone’s life.
2. Develop professionally – When you open yourself up to meeting new people – whether that’s your mentee or other mentors – you will inevitably learn new ideas and skills. Not only that, skilled volunteerism helps you grow as a leader and offers a great opportunity to build your resume or LinkedIn profile.
3. Build your network – Mentoring will build your mentee’s network – that’s a given. But what many don’t consider is how it can actually be a great networking opportunity for mentors as well. When you sign up to mentor with an organization, such as PA Women Work’s 3 Cups of Coffee program, you can be connected to other like-minded professionals, along with job-seeking mentees that could provide talent and diversity to help your company reach its hiring goals.
4. It feels good – When you mentor someone, you will help change their life. Your professional advice, positive encouragement and experience will provide your mentee with the support she needs to discover her goals, search for the right job, and ultimately get started on a new path to success. Not only that, when you invest your time and energy into someone’s life and see them succeed, it is an extremely gratifying experience.
As a career mentor, you will make an impact. PA Women Work’s 3 Cups of Coffee is a short-term mentoring program, so the time commitment is minimal – just three one-hour meetings.
Whether you sign up as a mentor with our program, or you make the choice to mentor a professional at work, we hope you’ll choose to offer your skills and expertise to someone in our community who could benefit. We know you have so much to offer.