By Angela Hayes, Ph.D.
If you are in the job search, or even considering one within the next year, now would be a great time to clean up your social media presence and further build your brand. This doesn’t just mean getting rid of party pics. It also means removing articles that are politically divisive or could be considered offensive and/or really long rants about a topic. Look at your social media content from the perspective of a future employer. Google yourself to see what others are seeing and what that tells them about your brand. Always use Incognito mode for Goggle and Private Mode for Firefox, Safari and IE. That way your personal browsing history won’t affect the results. The results you see are what everyone else would see, rather than results targeted to you specifically.
About 92% of companies use social media for hiring and 3 out of 4 hiring managers will check out a candidate’s social media profiles and use what they find as part of their hiring decisions. Is what you are seeing the story you want to tell? If not, start working on the brand you want to convey. Here is a good article on scrubbing your social media presence: https://www.businessinsider.com/scrub-social-media-delete-job-application-2019-9
On LinkedIn, create a current entry even if you don’t currently have a job. For example, you could say Recent Graduate/Project Manager in Training and then put “In Transition” or “Seeking New Opportunity” in the company name box. This is helpful because recruiters will often put “currently employed” as part of their search criteria, as well as key words for jobs that you might not have had yet, but are aspiring to get. If you don’t have something in that current box, you won’t come up in the search. Also, make sure to update your account with new skills, experience and accomplishments. This can include any current courses, training or certification programs that you are working on. Here is a good article on the best use of LinkedIn for job seekers: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-31-best-linkedin-profile-tips-for-job-seekers
So now that you have them cleaned up and updated, decide what you would like your social media profiles to say about you and what you want to accomplish with them in your job search. Decide where you’d like to expand your online presence. You generally don’t want to be everywhere. You might want to pick 2-3 platforms where you will spend time focused on networking and connecting for your job search. Play to your strengths. If you’re a good writer with some innovative ideas about your industry, write a blog and link it to your other social media sites. If you are great at design, create an e-portfolio that really shows off your skills, and link that to all social media so that it’s easy for others to find out more about you. You won’t want to post the exact same content on each site, but you want all the posts to reflect your unique brand. If you’d like to get serious about your personal brand, this website has some great articles to get you started: https://www.themuse.com/tags/personal-branding
ANGELA HAYES serves as the Associate Director of Alumni and Online Career Engagement. Prior to coming to CSU, she worked as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Graduate Student Career Services at Kansas State University. She has a B.S. in psychology, an M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. in professional coaching and human development. She’s a nationally Board Certified Coach and a nationally Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
She has a passion for helping others to see their lives as full of possibilities and un-tapped potential. She views changes/transitions (both planned and unplanned) as opportunities for individuals to discover and plan out what they really want from their careers and lives.