During your job search, it’s almost a given that hiring managers will scope out your social media profiles to get a better understanding of your personality and how you would fit in within their company’s work environment. While you often hear instances of social media profiles revealing too much about a potential employee’s social life and personal views, using social media wisely can actually attract the right kind of attention your way. Here are a few ways to optimize your social media profiles to show that you are career-ready.
- Keep your privacy in check. Social platforms like Facebook that encourage photo sharing are fun, but not everything that you share with your friends is something you would want snooping hiring managers to see. Hide any unprofessional pictures from public view (or better yet, delete them outright to avoid any slip-ups) and only make public the fields that cast you in a positive, professional light. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with having a social life outside of work – just remember to adjust your privacy settings to hide anything you wouldn’t want your potential future boss to see.
- Treat your social profiles like resumes. Almost every social network encourages users to complete a bio or “about me” section for readers to get a better sense of who you are. For those in the midst of a job search, those sections are prime real estate for clearly expressing your career goals and showcasing noteworthy accomplishments. LinkedIn profiles are even formatted like resumes, which makes highlighting your education, professional background, and career successes even easier. Your social media bio is almost always the first thing new visitors will see, so use that space to stand out and make a positive impression on viewers.
- Share career-relevant content. Posting about industry trends or news articles relevant to your field might not be the most exciting content for your friends’ newsfeeds, but balancing your personal content with content that is relevant to your career field can show hiring managers that your work interests you and that you like to stay on top of industry news. Try keeping a balanced profile that highlights both your professional and personal interests. Another option for creating a work/life balance in your social media is to make public certain social channels – LinkedIn and Twitter, for example – to use for work-related posts, while your private social channels can relate to your personal life.
- Keep your profile pictures professional. If you have a professional headshot, use that as your profile picture during your job search. Hiring managers will be impressed that your keeping your social media profiles professional, and if you’ve already been to an interview then hiring managers will be sure to recognize you more from a headshot than they would trying to pick you out of a group photo.
- Don’t leave your LinkedIn profile unattended. Having a LinkedIn profile is extremely important for those looking to make moves within their professional life, but it’s not enough to simply create an account. If you’re actively looking for a job, LinkedIn needs to be the social network that you update the most. Anything that can be considered a professional accomplishment – whether it’s a certification, volunteer work, having a paper published – should be indicated on your profile so hiring managers know that you are actively working to improve your place within your industry.
Locking down your social profiles while searching for a job might seem like the safest way to prevent hiring managers from getting the wrong impression of you. However, by leveraging your social profiles to show that you are career-ready and actively seeking employment, showing off the right kind of content can actually improve your standing with managers looking for proactive employees committed to their professional life. Maximize your hiring potential by optimizing your social media profiles with the steps listed above, and show others that you’re serious about your career goals.