We live in an online world, and your social media profiles present you to the world at large. Here's how to manage your social media presence during your job search.
Follow a simple rule regarding Facebook usage during a job hunt: If you wouldn't want a prospective employer seeing it, don't post it. That caution includes personal pictures, comments, shared links and group affiliations. For more privacy, consider changing your profile settings so that only friends can see your photos and personal information.
Facebook lets you view your profile as another user. This feature allows you to fine tune just how much information a visitor can see when browsing.
Follow the same rule about appropriate content on Instagram. Anything you post publicly should be professional. Images of alcohol, drugs or products that would be inappropriate at the office should never be featured on your Instagram feed.
Some job seekers may want to consider making one private Instagram account for personal use and another public account for professional use. People in creative careers, such as graphic design or photography, can leverage the platform as an easy way to share their work with the world.
"Utilize hashtags in the comment section of your posts to get them seen by a wider audience," noted Adam Viet, Recruiting Manager of Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Des Moines. "You may also want to take some time to research popular hashtags, so that you can use them with your own posts."
Many people use Twitter as a platform to air their thoughts and opinions on current events. As a social tool, it's an amazing way to gauge public opinion on just about any topic. "Use Twitter Chats to expand your network in a specific field," says Mr. Viet. "#JobHuntChat is a great one for job seekers and recruiters as well. Twitter helps you connect with like-minded individuals who could potentially offer expertise or connect with you."
Keep in mind that the things you post are part of the public record. Users may even be able to search your history for public replies to other users. If you wouldn't want your next boss to overhear these conversations, keep them off Twitter. However, you can use the platform to connect with other professionals and build your network.
The link aggregator site Reddit is one of the most popular websites in the world. According to WeForum, citing April 2017 data from Alexa, Reddit is the eighth most popular website on the internet, but regularly gets more page views than Google. So what does this mean for job seekers?
On one hand, Reddit can be a useful warehouse of knowledge, helping job seekers connect with other professionals or discover useful information about their industry of interest. However, other users can view your posting history and comments on others' posts - so it's best not to post anything that could potentially identify you to future employers.
The aforementioned guidelines also apply to YouTube. Comments posted on videos are public, and if you use your real name anywhere in your YouTube profile, which is likely the same as your Google account, a future employer will be able to see what you post.
However, YouTube can be a powerful tool to help you showcase special skills and expertise. For example, trade professionals can post how-to videos to establish themselves as a information source. The same method applies to any professional with specialized knowledge. Instructional videos show prospective employers that you not only possess certain knowledge, but also that you understand how to put it to use.
LinkedIn is by far the best social media platform for job seekers. As a website dedicated to professionals, it is specifically designed to offer career insights and encourage networking opportunities. "Do some research on specific companies that you would like to work at, and then request to connect with decision-makers," advises Mr. Viet. "When you send a connection note, be aware of the platform and maintain a professional demeanor. Express interest in the company and ask if they would be interested in having a conversation."
Furthermore, use a professional profile picture, and fill out as much of your profile as you can. A good page will help recruiters notice you.
Anything you post on LinkedIn should be related to your profession. The site isn't a place to pose personal photos or controversial subject matter.
Want to jumpstart your career search? Contact the expert recruiters at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.