Your Social Media Profile – Is It Hurting or Helping You?

If you are reading this blog, chances are you are also using social media in some form or fashion. A 2011 Pew Internet survey, shows that over 65% of online adults (and 50% of ALL adults) in the U.S. use Facebook or another social networking site. That’s truly incredible since social media sites have only been around for about 10 years!

Social media can be a really great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but have you thought about what your social media activities may be saying about you to future employers? You should and here’s why…

  • 92% of all hiring managers use plan to use social media to hire employees in the future. Of those, 86% use LinkedIn, 60% use Facebook and 50% Twitter.
  • 1 of 3 employers have rejected candidates based on something they found online.
  • 24% of hiring managers say they determined “fit and personality” from social media profile of candidates.
    (data provided by Mashable.com)

Are you ready to “get found” and look attractive to hiring managers via social media?  Here are our suggestions for getting started.

Create a LinkedIn Profile

This is the business networking site and the site most accessed by recruiters/hiring managers. Whether you are an active or passive job seeker, you NEED a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is an incredlble tool to reconnect with colleagues and learn more about hiring managers at companies of interest. Your goal is to fully flesh out your profile and start connecting with people you know. LinkedIn makes it very easy for you to create a profile, even providing a resume upload tool that will populate your profile fields. 

LinkedIn experts give this advice:

  • You are twelve times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities if your profile is complete.
  • Add a photo. Professionals that add a photo are seven times more likely to have their LinkedIn profile viewed in general that people who don’t. (See more on this in Facebook section below)
  • Get connected. Fifty trusted contacts is the “magic” number of connections you need in order to get your LinkedIn network to work for you.

Since LinkedIn is the social media tool most recruiters use, your social media time is best spent (in terms of career search) on this channel.  Use this link to get started if you are completely new to LinkedIn.

Clean up your Facebook Profile

Since Facebook is seen primarily as a social site, it’s not necessary to have a Facebook profile to be seen by potential employers.  However, if you already have a Facebook page, review it from the perspective of a hiring manager.  It’s very possible (as per the numbers above) that your profile will be reviewed to uncover red flags. Make sure your privacy settings are updated (it’s best if only friends have access to your information and photos) and take a good look at what you are posting. Review your Info section to ensure it is consistent with your resume and other profiles you make have online. And remember what goes online can come back to haunt you!

One note on social media profile photos…You don’t need a professional head shot for your profile picture, but do be mindful in your choices. Avoid “sexy, glamour” shots or candids of you doing tequila shots at your last birthday party. 

Explore Twitter

Twitter is the least used social media site in terms of job search, but certainly worth exploring! Twitter is a “microblogging” site, where people and companies start “conversations”.  It is a bit more complicated than the other sites, but is certainly a great place to learn what’s going on in your industry or with companies of interest to you. Learn more about Twitter here.

Take Action

Social media can be a great tool in your job search.  Take the time to ensure your profile represents the professional image you want employers to see.  If you would like to learn more on this topic, listen to our 30 Minute Mentor session by clicking here.

Tell us how you use social media in your job search! 

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