In this day and age, employers are likely to google your name to access and assess your online activity. Tweets, Facebook/google+/YouTube video/forum comments can form part of the job candidate acceptance review. What do your comments say about you? How will they be perceived by a prospective employer? Are they conciliatory, antagonistic, confrontational, emotional, intelligent, logical, irrational, mean, or uplifting? Whether you like it or not, your online activity in all its forms is now a core component of your personal brand.
The social media scene can no longer be seen as a playground for reckless abandon where you're free to say whatever you want and to whom. There can be consequences, and they could very well negatively impact your career. Assess your own activity before an employer does and try to have unprofessional content removed from google permanently. Take great care with your posts and comments. If you're smart about it, you can use social media to build a very positive image of yourself across multiple platforms.
Do you have a presence?
LinkedIn is the most popular network for professionals; however, it is prudent to have an alternate personal profile to supplement this. Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ are the most popular networks, each with its own set of benefits. Regardless of whether your profile is personal or professional, most recruiters prefer to see your real name, not a modified version, or even more off-putting, an alias.
Activity levels are another point recruiters often consider. Showing a healthy level of activity will help to improve your position in their assessment. Excessive activity such posting an update every few minutes can be a turnoff, while one post a year can make you appear disengaged.
Industry and profession also play a role in the level of your engagement with social media and in a recruiter's assessment. For example, a recruiter usually expects a candidate applying to a marketing agency to be more active than a person applying for an actuary position.
Do you demonstrate tact?
Consider the tone, diction, and style of your posts and comments. Ask yourself these questions before you post:
· Do your posts and comments enhance your professional image?
· If you speak the way you write on social media, would you be able to keep your job?
If you answer "yes" to both, then you are on the right track with your social media. If you say "no" or feel a twinge of doubt, then you need to take action immediately to clean up your social presence. Comb through posts and comments and delete anything that could turn off a recruiter. Privacy settings are not a trustworthy safeguard to protect against online indiscretions.
Are your profile pictures and photos appropriate?
Headshots are by far the best profile image for a professional in search of a new position. Photographs, both those posted by you and those where friends have tagged you, also deserve scrutiny. Consider taking down images that present a less-than-professional you. These could include pictures of social occasions, wedding pictures, family portraits (it might not be wise to inadvertently reveal your family or marital status), and poor quality snapshots of the mundane.
Mind your P's and Q's
Although you might hear conflicting information about how to manage social profiles, the key point to remember is that anything you post on the Internet can come back and rear its head. The best practice is to post and say things you would not mind your boss repeating to the team during a meeting.
As your professional resume writer in Calgary, I can also help you develop your LinkedIn profiles to enhance your standing in the job market.