Social media. It really makes Sean (Oggi Founder & CEO) nervous. In fact up until I joined the Oggi team his face had never been on the internet (outside of he’s wife’s Facebook page much to his chagrin.) Why? Because in his career as a recruiter he’s made it his business to be very cognizant of the dark side of social media on behalf of his candidates. A drunken pic, use of profanity or an off handed status update about your job/boss etc. or a controversial retweet is ALL BAD for even the best and most qualified candidates. But these days having a social resume and an impressive online presence can also help you during a job search (if you are smart about it). Here’s where and how:
- Twitter: Following companies you want to work for is a great way to learn about them. Your interest & knowledge will impress your interviewer.
- LinkedIn: Endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn are very public recommendations that make you look good (and it’s okay to ask for them!)
- Facebook: We spend more time with the people we work with than our own families which makes it critical to like the people you work for/with and for them to like you. Showing your personality to a hiring manager can make you a more appealing candidate. (Ex: I see you “like” Downton Abby – so do I!)
Clean up your online presence. Here’s what you should do:
- Check your privacy settings and lock them down.* Consider carefully who you allow to follow, friend or connect with you. Only people you know very well should be allowed to see any and all material – especially on sites like Facebook and Twitter. But if you just can’t say no to a friend request make sure you are using Facebook’s Acquaintances list to restrict your content from casual acquaintances.
Make sure your profile pics are not JUST appropriate but professional. Profile photos are a quick representation of how you see yourself. They are also almost always public images that anyone can see. Below are two of my real life Facebook profile pics. Although I’m not showing too much skin or making an obscene gesture (or whatever) you can still see how a hiring manager might perceive this candidate. Which would you hire? Kelly A or Kelly B?
- Remove ALL questionable material. (Ex: Photos of you doing a keg stand last weekend should be removed (obviously) but also questionable posts and retweets.
- Untag yourself in unflattering pics. Then ask your “friend” to remove them. (Thanks a lot buddy!)
- Delete abandoned Social Media accounts. You don’t want someone to stumble upon content you put out there 10 years ago and forgot about…do you?
Really…it’s all about using common sense. To learn more about creating an impressive Social Resume check out this great infographic from The Daily Muse: Why You Need a Social Resume (and How to Build One).