These days, it seems like everyone is on one form of social media or another. Employers know this too, and they use it to their advantage to do research on prospective employees. This can either really help or really hinder you. In order for social media to help you, you have to know how to use it correctly. And this starts with being noticed on social media, regardless of the platform.
First Things First
One of the most common mistakes people make is not fully completing their profiles. There are reasons those ‘about me’ blocks are there; people who look for that information genuinely want to know. By not filling in the available blanks, you are depriving those people of information that they may not be able to get elsewhere, not to mention hindering your ability to show up in search engines. Besides, you can present yourself however you want- it’s a great chance for you to market yourself.
Speaking of marketing yourself, that’s what a big part of social media is: you sharing yourself with the world. So be careful what information you share. You don’t want a prospective employer to see that crazy weekend you had in Vegas, or how you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with 50 of your closest friends.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to not show anything on your social media profiles that you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see. If they would disapprove of certain behaviors displayed, prospective employers will too. If you have photos like this on your profiles, take them down or untag yourself. A few photographs are not worth losing a job over.
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Different social media platforms serve different purposes. Are you using them to your advantage?
- LinkedIn: a network of professional profiles, you can upload your resume and work history, and connect with different companies and prospective employers. You can also communicate with business colleagues and grow your own business network.
- Facebook: one of the founding social media sites, Facebook tends to be a more casual platform on which to work. But be careful! Censor yourself and display only the best sides of yourself on here. Some employees have been fired for what they post on Facebook, and many hopefuls have been turned down for information or photos on their profiles as well.
- Google+: it can be whatever you want it to be. It can be a way to connect professionally, personally, or both. You have the most flexibility with G+ due to its circles feature, and since it’s still relatively new, you can expect it to keep expanding and growing in the near future.
- Other platforms, like FourSquare, Twitter, and Pinterest: the same rules apply for these. You can definitely use them to your advantage, but be careful that you post quality material that won’t leave potential employers with a bad taste in their mouths.
One of the biggest and best ways to get noticed on social media is to share high-quality content that is relevant and interesting. Connect with companies whose mission you believe in. Follow or circle companies you want to work with, and share information that they’re posting.
By interacting with companies and people within those companies, you are virtually building a network of potential ‘ins’. Did they post something interesting that you think more people would like? Comment on the original post, and share it to your page so your friends can see it.
Make sure to explain why your friends should read an article or watch a video. Let them know why they should care, and they will. If you don’t, it’s more likely than not most people will just skip it over.
One simple rule to follow when posting and sharing content is Be Positive. You’re allowed to have your opinions, but bashing the opinions of others, including what could be the opinions of your potential employers, is petty, unattractive, and unprofessional.
If you’re careful and take steps to build exceptional profiles, you can create a social media presence that can become an impressive way to market yourself in the digital age.
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Category: Personal Branding