Employers are recruiting for at least 80% of their job openings on social media – for instance, 98% of recruiters turn to LinkedIn to find talent. Today’s savvy job seeker knows that social media can help you network, it helps you research companies and potential hiring managers, and it helps you find the latest job opportunities.
As with any job search technique, social media’s awesomeness also comes with potential pitfalls, the biggest of which can be your online personal brand. Potential employers can see more information about you than ever before, and anything negative in your online presence can instantly evaporate an opportunity.
Are you sure that social media is helping – not hurting – your cause? Here are five ways to boost your online personal brand:
Hello, is Anyone There?
It’s one thing to sign up; it’s another to engage. A boring, inactive, empty social media profile says that you start things you don’t finish and that you aren’t taking advantage of the tools you have. Make sure you cover the basics and update once a week. Haven’t touched that MySpace account in a couple of years? Delete old accounts that aren’t adding value to your online brand. Do a Google search on yourself and make sure you like what you see – through the eyes of a potential employer.
The Company You Keep
Everyone on Facebook has at least one friend who occasionally posts the dirty joke, profanity, or dirty picture/video tag. That reflects on you. A potential employer might look at some of your online interactions, so it’s time to clean some things up, talk to friends who post racy stuff, and/or consider changing your settings to restrict who can post/tag what.
If you don’t want a potential employer to see it, don’t post it. Be discreet. Maintain professionalism. Just starting your search? Go back and tidy up past photos and posts.
Don’t Put all Your Eggs in One Basket
Social media is a great tactic for your search. Remember, however, that online job search activities should comprise no more than 25-30% of your overall strategy. Nothing will ever replace the power of networking and talking with people. Your personal and professional brand shines much more face-to-face than online.
Don’t Get Sucked In
Anyone ever experience a complete time-suck thanks to social media (hello, Pinterest!)? Five minutes can easily turn into an hour. Stay focused on your search. Set aside other time for social media “fun”.
What do you think? In what other ways has social media helped – or hurt – your job search? Share your thoughts!