Well over half of potential employers expect you to have a presence on social media, and half of those employers are going to look for you when they see you have applied for a job with them. Think about your social media platforms, how do you feel about having a potential employer taking a look at your recent posts?
Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand on social media. We post on our social media platforms the things we are passionate about, we post about our values, and our strengths. Intentionally or not, that is what you are doing. When an employer looks you up on social media, that is how they interpret your posts! So what do yours say about you?
Whether you are panicked right now or feeling good, either way we can always be improving. I have seen so many benefits from my social media presence, and no matter your career path you can see them too! Here is the bottom line:
WHAT YOU DO ON SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T MATTER MUCH UNTIL IT DOES. THAT MEANS IT ALWAYS MATTERS.
Now don’t freak out. Don’t change everything you do on social media. I’ve got 5 simple things you can do to clean up your profiles and be a bit more mindful in how you brand yourself on social media. Nix the limit of thinking it doesn’t matter and take action on these today.
1) MAKE SURE YOU ARE RECOGNIZABLE
Check out your social media platforms, what is your profile picture? Are you in it? Can I tell who you are even if I don’t know you? Think of me as a potential employer, I am going to look you up and identify your profile picture as you. If you have a large group of people, that makes it hard to do! Your profile picture should feature YOU – it is your profile after all. Use your header image on your profile to feature your family, friends, or others.
2) CLEAN UP YOUR PHOTOS
Social media is all about showing your lifestyle, but be mindful of what you show. When you post a picture of you climbing a fence that has a “No Trespassing” sign on it, what does that say? The pictures of you goofing off with your friends is fine, just don’t appear to be doing anything illegal or irresponsible. If you are over 21 I am not saying you can’t drink, if that’s what you want to do then go for it! However, be mindful what a picture of you “successfully destroying a 12-pack” would look like to a potential employer. You’re putting this on the internet, don’t kid yourself in thinking these photos won’t resurface somewhere.
3) CLEAN UP YOUR POSTS
Here is a simple rule employers will follow: “If a candidate complains about any job on their social media accounts, they will complain about theirs if they work for me.” Clean up your posts. Don’t complain about your job, or talk about how you did something you weren’t supposed to at work. Leave your drama for your momma. No one wants to see a multiple paragraph long rant about how your friend did this or someone else did that. That doesn’t show smart conflict resolution, so why show everyone you don’t know how to resolve conflict? Clean up your posts.
4) BE ACCESSIBLE
It is totally fine to have one or two go-to social media platforms. You don’t have to post on all of them every single day. However, you should still have a presence on them. Create a profile on each of them, and if you don’t plan on using it often, say in your Bio that people can keep in touch with you on Twitter or Instagram or whatever platform you use regularly. Keep the profile picture current, along with a post every once in a while of something fun, but that way if a potential employer looks you up on any platform, they will find you.
You should do more than just post, participate on social media! In today’s age you can get in contact with almost any company, millionaire, author, and more. Find groups that have goals to support people with your career goals and participate! Follow people doing what you want to do one day and watch what they do! You can learn so much through other people’s profiles on social media, and you can also connect with some awesome people that can help you pursue cool opportunities.
That’s it. Don’t think you have to all of a sudden be someone you aren’t on social media, just be mindful. Employers want to know you are human. Humans go to parties, travel, take awkward family photos, and have fun. Remember that your social media presence matters.