If you don’t think that social media affects your employability, think again! Now that social media has become an integral business strategy, more and more employers are turning to the social media accounts of their prospective hires to get a better understanding of who they are. This is why it is a major mistake to jump into your job search without doing a thorough review of your social media.
The last thing you want is to miss out on an opportunity because of a questionable post or an outdated social media presence. As a result, you’ll want to spot (and eliminate) any potential red flags before a prospective employer does. Whether you are building your online personal brand from scratch or trying to find ways to clean up your social media accounts, there are a number of things you should do before starting your job search:
Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date
With more than 500 million active members, hiring managers are utilizing LinkedIn as a ‘one-stop shop’ to find and vet qualified candidates. If you want to leverage its benefits as a job seeker, there are some LinkedIn profile essentials you can’t afford to miss. For starters, you should upload a professional photo, update your skills and experience, and write an enticing summary. Additionally, be sure you’re updating your profile regularly by sharing relevant industry articles and any major career accomplishments.
Update your privacy settings
Social sites update their settings frequently, so make sure you are aware of what is being displayed on your profiles. Start by viewing each of your profiles as a public user to determine what updates first need to be made. If you want to showcase your skills, personality, or following, you might want to set looser privacy settings. While your level of privacy will certainly depend on your industry, be mindful of any content that can be deemed inappropriate in a public setting.
Delete problematic content
While social media can serve as a great platform for expressing your ideas and opinions, some statements can be misconstrued without the proper context. To avoid this issue when job searching, take the time to remove content that could be deemed inappropriate or insensitive. Along the same lines, look at your Twitter and Instagram feeds and followers to make sure they reflect the person you want potential employers to see.
Remove inappropriate photos
We all know the old saying, “a picture says a thousand words” and that couldn’t be truer for a prospective candidate starting their job search. While you may have had the best time during a fun-filled vacation, you want to make sure all the photo evidence of these experiences (if public) would be appropriate for a hiring manager to see. Be sure to take the time to remove your tag from inappropriate photos and take down any questionable images you are associated with. This way, your social media activity is consistent with the type of professional your prospective employer is looking to hire.
About the Author:
Edward Fleischman is the CEO of The Execu|Search Group, a leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firm headquartered in New York City with additional offices throughout the U.S. With over three decades of experience, Edward regularly advises employers on strategic senior-level hiring, structuring of compensation packages, and human resources issues.
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