Building up an arsenal of contacts across a hodgepodge of social media is a great way to help you land a job. Networking has gone to the digital sphere, and believe it or not, all those Twitter followers might be your ticket to getting hired. However, the opposite is also true. Sure you might have nailed the job interview, but when the hiring manager Googles you and finds pictures of you doing naked keg stands on Facebook, that opportunity might just fly out the window.
The Internet has become a pivotal tool for job hunters and employers alike, but sometimes it can feel like a desolate wasteland that is only useful for highlighting your most embarrassing moments. The tragic part is (in regard to social networking at least) most of your dirty laundry could probably be deleted or made private. If you just got out of high school or college, put yourself in the shoes of the person looking to hire you. Consider how they're viewing the pictures of you tagging an abandoned warehouse or the tweet in which you made a vulgar joke. Here are some tips for managing a variety of social media sites while job hunting:
Let's start with the obvious. Control your privacy settings to monitor the way employers view your Timeline. Once you have a handle on what people can see, clean up any potentially jeopardizing material. There are plenty of ways around privacy settings, and some employers will simply ask for access to your profile anyway. Remove any risque pictures or inappropriate material. Those beer pong pics might have been a lot of fun to share in college, but they're a major deterrent in the professional world.
Facebook also has space to list your education, previous job titles and professional skills. Showcase your accomplishments so employers can glean professional experience off your profile. Take advantage of the social network you've built on Facebook to inform contacts that you're looking for a job.
Twitter is a great place to develop a personal brand. Tweet often and engage with other users. Twitter is one of the top social media destinations for employers to communicate company updates, so figure out who to follow in your industry. Use Twitter as an open space to share news, talk with colleagues and exhibit a resume. Building a professional reputation on Twitter takes consistency and patience. Tweet links to field-relevant articles, ask questions of people you look up to and develop a personal voice.
Don't use LinkedIn simply as a digital location to copy and paste your resume. Take advantage of LinkedIn by contacting professionals you admire and sharing job news. Remember that LinkedIn is first and foremost a place for professional networking, so it's perhaps the best social media for acquainting yourself with professionals you don't know personally. Make your profile robust, which can be done by seeking out and providing recommendations. Look up hiring managers on Twitter and LinkedIn before going in for interview.
Your resume is a great place to include links to your Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile. Of course, this means that you should be regularly updating and editing your online profiles. If you apply for jobs online, most applications include additional space to add these links. Many employers even request them. This is why it's important to manage and maintain your social media: because employers want to see that you are engaged and professional. There's not really a way to fake being a regular user if you are in fact inconsistent. If you ignore Twitter for six months and then suddenly tweet a lot after applying for a marketing position, all an employer has to do is look up your Twitter handle to see that you're inconsistent.