Social media can be a powerful way to build your professional brand. But it can also sink your chances of landing a job or even an interview. Many employers now check candidates’ social media accounts, and ill-chosen words or photos can spell disaster. Here’s what you need to know to turn social media into a job-hunting advantage.
LinkedIn is one of the most important professional networking tools today. Build a strong profile, including a professional headshot. Think of your profile as an electronic resume, and make sure to proofread it. Steer clear of anything personal, focusing solely on your professional brand.
Be careful about politics and religion
In today’s contentious climate, it’s only natural to use your social media as a platform. Just make sure your privacy settings don’t let prospective or current employers see your more controversial posts. You never know what their views may be, and you also want them to see you as someone who can protect sensitive information. Make your political or religious posts, “Friends only.” If you accept friend requests from employers or coworkers, use your advanced settings to prevent them from seeing these posts.
Keep it classy
Assume that everyone will see your public posts. Use professional language and type in complete sentences. Always avoid profanity or personal attacks. Focus your public posts on showing off your personality in a professional light.
Don’t talk about your current job
Trash talking your current boss, bragging about projects for which you signed a nondisclosure agreement, or otherwise breaking confidentiality can cause prospective employers to lose confidence in you. It’s okay to mention accomplishments in a more general way, but be careful. You want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, even when what you’re saying isn’t technically against the rules.
Add to the professional conversation
When building your brand, it’s always wise to contribute to industry-related conversations. Post articles, give your opinions on the latest news and reach out to experts in your field. Remember to remain professional and avoid coming off like a loudmouth or a know it all. Encourage others to weigh in and write thoughtful responses to feedback.
Make your posts matter
While it’s a good idea to maintain regular activity on your accounts, don’t post fluff to keep up your post count. It’s better to post less frequently but more thoughtfully than to post a constant stream that adds little value.
Social media can be a great way to build your brand but be careful. Personal social media and professional social media are oceans apart. Use privacy settings to keep them separated and think carefully about each new public post you make.
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If you’re in the market for a new job, contact Total Staffing Solutions. With over 20 years of experience, we know how to match you with your next position.