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We’ve all heard how the quality of your social media presence can affect you job search. If your profile is too stiff and uninviting or too unprofessional you may not be looking at many call-backs. Job seekers must draw a careful line when managing their social media. Here are some tips for representing yourself well, in your online presence.
1. Have an active online presence. Social media gives employers the unique opportunity to learn about you, before an initial meeting. Will you fit in with the organization? Will you conduct yourself respectfully? Are you amiable or cold and distant? These questions may be answered favorably if you update and manage your profiles with quality content.
2. Google search your name. What you see, is what future employers will see. Are you finding old or inappropriate images? Your search results will tell you if you need to clean house. Deactivating out of date or irrelevant pages like Myspace is an easy first step. Continue using your best judgment when considering other pictures and posts. Ask yourself, “Would I hire a person with this information on his/her profile?” Make sure each account is controlled by ensuring that professional information is public and personal information is private.
3. Use each medium for its intended purpose. Popular social media accounts include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Each are different platforms and have separate purposes. LinkedIn is a professional account. Connecting with people, businesses, and groups within your industry helps to stay updated in the field, and create possible job opportunities. Your LinkedIn page should be completely professional, acting as an online resume. Facebook and Twitter may be used professionally but are intended for personal use. For this reason, monitor your behavior by carefully selecting pictures and posts that will not be wrongly interpreted. Before posting ask yourself, “Is there any possible way someone may interpret this post or picture that will shine a negative light on me?” If the answer is yes, don’t post it!
Every social media account should be monitored in different ways to ensure that you appear professional through search results. It’s ok to have both personal and professional social media accounts, however you must use discretion when posting. Employers are looking for the good the bad and the ugly. Make sure you maintain an appropriate online presence and use privacy settings consistently!