When you first start your job search, you need to take into account your online presence, especially in regard to social media. It’s not uncommon for employers and recruiters to review one or more of your social media profiles during the hiring process. In order to ensure your social media presence assists your job search and isn’t a hindrance, you need to do a comprehensive review. Here are the best ways to do a complete audit of your social media before you start applying to jobs.
Find all of your accounts
First and foremost, do you know all of the social media accounts you currently have online? You may have a Myspace profile from high school still floating around out there or an old Twitter account that you made in college. Before you begin to think about the edits you may need to make, you need to find all of the sites you’ve created profiles for. The easiest way to accomplish this is to perform a quick Google search. Once you’ve found all of your accounts, remove the ones you’re no longer using or are unprofessional in nature.
Remove unnecessary content
Now that you’ve located all of your profiles and removed your old accounts, it’s time to go through your active ones. It’s especially important to review your statuses, profile content, bios, and photos that are attached to your current accounts. Is there any inappropriate or unprofessional information that you should also delete? You may have photos on Facebook or Instagram that should be taken down, or comments about past employers or coworkers. Go through this content and remove anything you believe could hinder your chances of getting hired.
Update your profile picture
When utilizing social media in your job search, you want to ensure that your accounts are as professional as can be. Take a look at your current profile picture on all of your social networks. Is your photo recent or is it one from years ago? Even if it’s your first time applying to jobs out of school, don’t have a picture of you with a graduation cap. Make sure that your current profile picture truly does look like you, is not cropped, only has you in it, and that you’re smiling. This way one look at your profile will demonstrate the professional that you are.
Update current information
Another aspect you want to review is what content is currently being displayed on your social networks. Is there anything else that needs to be updated? You want to ensure that your social profiles also represent your most up-to-date information, especially in regard to your LinkedIn profile. Have you moved recently or changed your email address? Your basic contact information across all of your accounts must be accurate. Also take a look at your current skillset; is there anything that should be added to your LinkedIn summary or other social bios? Have you recently learned a new skill, taken any classes on line, volunteered somewhere, or gained a new certification? Make sure you add this content to your LinkedIn profile and any other accounts where necessary.
Add creative content
Once you’ve updated each of your social media accounts, it’s time to add a bit of creativity. Think of what aspects will make your profile stick out in the mind of a recruiter or hiring manager. Are you utilizing your cover photos on your profiles? This is an area where you can add a bit of personality and also make it more visually appealing. Does your bio or summary use enticing key words to ensure the person viewing your profile keeps reading? The first two lines of your LinkedIn summary and short Twitter bio are important areas to focus this creativity. Each social network also has the option to include links to other networks you’re on, so be sure to cross-promote your other accounts here as well.
Follow potential employers
There is a good chance that the organization you’re interested in working at has company or business pages online. Take advantage of the opportunity to follow and interact with potential employers through social media. This way, you’ll keep updated on their most recent news and know what is going on at the organization. This type of information could be a useful topic of conversation during a phone screen or interview setting.
Check your privacy settings
Lastly, each social network has different privacy settings that you need to check. These privacy settings are vital to understand and can play an important role in how you appear to recruiters and hiring managers. It’s also important to keep up to date on these privacy updates, since social networks are constantly evolving. For a recent example, LinkedIn updated a privacy setting where you can let recruiters know that you’re actively searching for jobs without making it known to your connections or current employer.
Even if you aren’t as active on social media, it’s still crucial to know how it can affect your online presence and overall personal brand. Take the needed time to thoroughly review your social media profiles so nothing will hold you back as you search for a new career opportunity.
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