Your social media brand is viewed by important people…people such as hiring managers. What’s in YOUR Facebook? Are you afraid to find out?
With social media, would you believe that all of us have two resumes to our credit?
The first sheet is a crisp white sheet with bullet points and carefully chosen verbs. It contains information about our education, past positions, and skills. This is the one you take to job interviews.
There are also our other “resumes.” These include the Instagram account that shows your love of happy hour, the gossip column Twitter account, and the profile on Facebook that contains NSFW photos.
Hiring managers will look at your social media as carefully as your cover letter and resume.
In fact, 45 percent of hiring managers use social media platforms to find out more about candidates. This means that you want it to look as clean as possible.
You don’t have to make a complete overhaul of your online persona. This just means that you might need to be more careful about what you post and who you share it with.
These tips will help you shine online without compromising your personality.
1. Keep your accounts private.
Let’s begin with the case of companies already looking at your social networks. To see your activity, simply go to your settings.
If you want your profiles to be private, you might limit the number of friend requests you accept from people you know, not co-workers or old bosses.
However, if you wish to remain anonymous, you should…
2. Hide or delete inappropriate posts.
These media posts don’t have to be deleted. You can archive Instagram pictures, store Snapchats to memories and hide certain posts from your Facebook timeline.
3. Remove old media accounts
Your middle school YouTube media channel has been floating around the internet for too long. You probably wouldn’t mind reminiscing about your teenage self if you don’t think hiring managers would.
Google yourself, even if you think you don’t have any! It might surprise you to discover what you didn’t sign up for.
4. Be sure to add the right media photos.
Your photo will be the first thing that hiring managers see online when they search for you.
There is no need for a professional headshot. However, make sure your profile, as well as your cover photo, are professional…and only has one, not all that Twitter egg nonsense.
5. Add a professional bio to your social media.
This is the best way for you to describe who you are and what makes you different.
Are you unsure how to create one? This article will help you create the perfect bio for every platform.
6. Edit your URLs and handles.
A custom URL takes only minutes to create and looks much more professional.
7. Post industry-related news, quotes, and articles.
Share, retweet, and share anything that is related to the industry you are interested in. A hiring manager will consider you if your mission aligns with their brand.
8. Follow inspiring people and companies.
Blogs, news sources, or any other website that you enjoy count too! Recruiters will know what your passions are, what leaders you admire, what trends you keep up to date, and which leaders they should follow. It may sound strange, but we are also who we follow.
Make smart social media decisions. Consider whether the content you are posting matches your online presence.
It can be thought of this way: Would a hiring manager bring it up during an interview? If so, would you be able to explain why it was posted?
9. Under no circumstances should you delete your social media account(s).
Under no circumstances should you delete your social media accounts if they appear to be detrimental to your hiring prospects.
Bells and whistles will go off in HR departments when they discover you have recently deleted, say, your Facebook page. Twitter. And that goes especially for TikTok! Such sudden deletions tell the HR people that you probably have something serious to hide. In other words, they’ll suspect that you are throwing out an unwanted baby with the bathwater.
Even if you do delete one of your social media accounts, that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be examined. HR departments have the ways and means to retrieve deleted platforms. Just like the FBI!
It’s always better in these cases to ‘fess up.
Let your prospective employer know that you have sown some wild oats. But now you have learned from your mistakes. You’ve matured. And this type of escapade will never happen again. The HR people, if they are honest with themselves, should be willing to overlook our earlier indiscretions. Especially since they probably have some of their own they’d like to hide.