Social Media is now a massive part of our day to day lives, and it’s important not to forget how those photos, statuses and tweets may appear professionally. Employers often will trawl social media sites to conduct research on job candidates and if the impression you give on the social networking sites is not what they are looking for it can often have a real impact on your employability.
Here is how to maintain your social media profiles correctly
The first and most obvious thing is your privacy settings. Ensure that your wall posts, statuses, and photos are only available to be seen by your friends and not the general public. As all frequent users of Facebook will know, they do change your settings from time to time without telling you, so make sure you check them from time to time. No matter how private your profile is potential employers can still see your profile and/or cover photo so for your job hunting period try to ensure your picture doesn’t portray you as a scantily clad, beer swigging comedian.
Twitter can be seen as a catch 22 situation, on one hand you are there to voice your opinions and keep abreast of current affairs, but it can also reveal those opinions you wouldn’t want your employer to know. Most people don’t protect their tweets as the nature of Twitter means that to get the most out of it you need to have your tweets and profile accessible to others. But all sorts of conversations can set alarm bells ringing, from bad mouthing celebrities to suspicious retweets, if you are worried that this sounds like your type of tweets then probably best to start protecting them.
Twitter can also work to your advantage when job hunting, why not set up a ‘work’ profile and share relevant news to your followers and make sure you use it properly and interact with your followers in the correct manner!
Lastly, LinkedIn. Too many people set up profiles because everyone else has got one, and then don’t maintain them properly. As a minimum you should ensure that all information is up to date and that your career narrative, skills and expertise are properly represented. Ideally you should be using it to forge and maintain links and demonstrate your skills as a networker – join groups and discussions relevant to the industry you are trying to move into.