The DOs And DONTs Of Social Media For Job Seekers

Social media is a massive component of our daily lives today. We use social media channels to update friends on our lives, share knowledge, find entertainment and build our personal and professional brands. Whether or not we realize it, everything we post on social media is a direct reflection of ourselves, both personally and professionally.

Since 30% of employers check out potential employees’ social media accounts before hiring and 43% report finding something that makes them not want to hire a candidate, this can have a big impact on whether or not you land a job. Knowing the basic “dos” and “don’ts” of social media helps improve your image and boost your chances of getting the position that you want.

DOs:

Show your knowledge. The best way to promote yourself is to get involved with discussions that are relevant to your industry. Post questions, answer questions and start conversations that reflect your areas of expertise.

Share relevant information. including links to interesting articles, status updates and tweets. Sharing knowledge with others in your industry is invaluable for networking.

Diversify across platforms. Social media has expanded beyond Facebook and Twitter. Potential employers and employment opportunities may be found on Google+, Pinterest and other social sites, so make sure you check them out.

Be active on LinkedIn. This professional platform allows you to show your resume, skills and job experience as well as to search for job opportunities. Think of it as a way to build your personal brand by showing potential employers what you can give them if they hire you.

Be consistent in all of your profiles. Each site that you’re active on should show the same employment history, skills and areas of expertise. Make sure that everything matches up with your resume to provide a reliable picture of what you have to offer.

Be truthful with all of the information you present. If you lie in an attempt to make yourself appear more hirable, you’ll get caught and hurt your chances of landing a position in the future.

Start building a network right away. Creating social media profiles establishes your presence, but getting in contact with industry leaders, participating in relevant discussions and joining groups all put you in touch with a network of people who can provide references and other valuable help as you’re searching for your next job.

DONTs:

Don’t post unprofessional photographs, especially as your profile picture. Revealing clothing, inappropriate gestures and alcohol or drug use all reflect poorly on your professional image and are turn-offs for employers.

Don’t have an account just to have one. Signing up for social media and then never posting doesn’t benefit you and may convey the message that you can’t be bothered to keep up with commitments.

Don’t post just to post. It’s just as bad to flood your feeds with posts. Over time, you’ll learn to strike a balance between what’s enough information and what’s too much.

Don’t post without proofreading because it’s all too easy to make yourself look silly. Try to be as careful with your social media posts as you are with your resume.

Don’t let your likes and follows hurt your chances. Be aware of who you follow on sites like Twitter and Pinterest as well as what you’ve Liked on Facebook. Potential employers see all of this in addition to your profile and posts, so it’s important to go through and ensure that none of it is inappropriate, unprofessional or just plain unflattering.

Don’t use hurtful or foul language in any of your posts. Insulting remarks or complaints about your current job situation are a big “don’t” as well.

Don’t forget about privacy. Even if you’re careful, there are always going to be some things on social media that you don’t want prospective employers to see. Check all of your privacy settings, especially on Facebook, to ensure that these posts only show up to specific groups.

Following these guidelines will help you establish a professional presence across all of your social media profiles and convey an image that makes employers want to have you on their team.

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Alex Faubel enjoys writing about business and technology in career-focused education programs, and the benefits of a online education in preparing students for a bright future. 

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