All too often I cringe when I see some of the posts out on social media. It’s not just young people, but people who are old enough to know better, who say things they shouldn’t on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you aren’t aware of this already, it’s important you understand that potential employers are going to research you on line. The more information they encounter about you which aligns with their core values, the more likely you will be hired. The converse is true as well. if you have a linkedIn profile photo of you with a beer in your hand, or you are pictured in an outfit you would only wear to a nightclub, that is not appropriate for a professional site such as LinkedIn.
If you are searching for that next great new online job, you are probably working on getting your resume, cover letter and Linkedin profile so that you get noticed by the human resource personnel out there. As I have mentioned so many times before, you only have one chance to make a first impression and it’s through your resume but it is also through other online information about you. Have you considered that the image that you are presenting to the rest of the world through your online profiles you have on social media networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter or even your personal blogs?
Even on Facebook, be cautious off too many photos where you are drinking and sticking your tongue out. Everybody wants to have fun, but keep in mind the person looking from the outside in doesn’t know the whole person yet. The one who works hard and is inteeligent and thoughful.
Here are some tips to help you ensure you are displaying yourself in a positive light and help you get started on cleaning up that image on all the social media networks you belong to:
- Remove any and all embarrassing photos or videos of you online. While it may be amusing to your friends and family to see you passed out drunk, it’s not very flattering to your image.
- Create accounts, profiles and email accounts with mature sounding names. Avoid the following words: sexy, sweetie, baby, stud, crazy, lover, or any other words such as Bob69foru that sound immature or sexual in nature.
- Be careful what you post online under your name. Do a quick Google search to weed out any posts on forums or networking sites that are offensive.
- Think before you hit the post button. Never mind your family and friends, do you really think that potential employers don’t want to hear about your partying and other very personal information?
- Develop a professional website dedicated to your job search. On there, post a confidential resume (leave off personal information like address, phone numbers, etc.) and examples of portfolio. Leave off the bikini pictures, music and themes – make it as professional as possible.
If you work hard to improve your image online, you should begin to reap the benefits when you do your job search. On a side note, if you use the social networking sites to let others know you are searching for a job then you must be very professional in your posts. No rants about former employers, no profanity and nothing inappropriate. Just by being smart you can turn your social media into a fantastic networking tool.
Once you have a job, it’s also important to remember the social media guidelins set forth by your empoyers. People who just blurted things out on Twitter and Facebook have been suspended or fired from their jobs for posting things which don’t align with the core values of their company.