When our parents were entering the job market, they only had to worry about two ways to impress potential employers: their resume or CV and their interview. But today, any employer who is looking to hire will do their homework on you before you even get the chance to interview for the job. This means that your social media profile can make or break your professional career before it even starts.
There is a lot of talk about what you should do to get an internship or job. Get your university degree. Brush up on your interview skills. And of course, get as much work experience as possible. But there are a few elements that although simple, can be career killers.
One of the most important elements to pursuing that top notch internship or job is your social media presence. Chances are that you have at least one, if not two, social media profiles. Your Facebook profile. Your LinkedIn account. Your Twitter account. Your Skype account. Take a moment and google your name to see what comes up. A lot of what you have out on the internet is public. Your social media profiles can be fair game for potential employers to view and subsequently judge you on. You have the chance to impress those who are hiring, or to scare them off. It all depends on how you represent yourself to the world.
Be aware of the photos you upload. Be careful of any taglines or statuses that you might have up in Skype, Twitter or Facebook. It’s not just the people you meet in statistics class that will be checking out your Facebook profile. It’s open to anyone who wants more information on you, a.k.a. that potential new boss that you are trying to impress. To protect yourself from some pretty embarrassing moments, you can adjust your privacy settings. And maybe even more importantly, you can just not put those embarrassing photos up on social media in the first place. In today’s day and age, you can never be too careful with your public image.
So here are some Tips for Top Social Media Profiling:
•Facebook: Set your privacy settings so that the public only has access to the photos and statuses that you choose. What you place on your Facebook profile can leave potential employers with an impression of how professional you are and how seriously you will take the job or internship.
•LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn well. Network as much as you can. And keep your profile up to date with any work experience you might get.
•Skype: Your photo and tag line can cost you the job or internship of your dreams if you aren’t careful. Try to stay away from selfies for your profile picture. And please make sure your photo includes appropriate attire.
And in all your social media, be very careful with your grammar and general use of language. Offensive remarks that you wouldn’t make in front of your grandmother, shouldn’t be part of your public profile. Remember, your public profile is your choice of how to represent yourself to the world. A potential employer will not want to hire you if you are choosing to present yourself as rude or crass to the general public. So do yourself a favor and take the time to evaluate your social media presence. Make sure your profiles are representing you as you want them to and as a general rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t use it in an interview for a job or internship, don’t let it be part of your public profile.