Social Media Check-Up
November 29, 2017
There is one month to the start of a new year. For some that will mean a new exercise regimen, for others it will mean scheduling time to volunteer, and for yet others it will mean it’s time to look for a new job or career opportunity. For the latter, start now by giving yourself a social media check-up.
Make a list of all of your social media sites and then do the following:
- Check your privacy settings – who can see what?
- Remove any inappropriate pictures
- Remove any posts where you have said less than flattering things about your boss, department, company, etc. (avoid these types of post in the future)
Once you have done that, take time and go through each site (other than LinkedIn) and ask yourself what message you are trying to send or convey. According to Career Builder, 70% of employers check social media before offering to interview a potential candidate. There is nothing wrong with posting pictures of your cat or your children, but since 24% of those employers are looking for reasons to narrow the list, extreme political views or wild weekend pictures will likely get you cut from the short list. You can’t cultivate your Twitter feed or your Instagram page or Facebook persona over night, but you can remove aspects of it, or going back to my initial recommendation, you can ensure those images, etc. are 100% private.
LinkedIn is a different story because you can make sweeping changes at any moment to better reflect who you are or who you hope to become. And since 61% of employers are looking to see if potential candidates are qualified for the position, they are doing so on LinkedIn. Review your current position and add in any additional responsibilities you may have taken on since you last updated your profile. Add in volunteer work, writing samples, professional development experience, awards, distinctions, or other achievements as well. Make sure you tell your story well!
But that isn’t enough. Next, you have to think about your career goals. For some of you that may be easy because you are plan to stay in the same industry and apply for a more senior position in another company. For others, your change may be more complicated, such as an industry move. The latter requires a more careful curation of your profile. You will need to tease out experience that will support such a move and ensure it is highlighted within your profile.
And you still aren’t done. Now, it is time to begin engaging on LinkedIn and other social media sites where you can connect with colleagues, in other words, networking. Keep in mind, certain industries use one form of social media over another. For example, the publishing industry uses Twitter and Facebook. In this scenario, you will want to ensure you are following publishers, agents, and authors, and you are Tweeting about relevant topics. Education, entertainment, and hospitality also use social media, but you are unlikely to find bankers or insurance professionals conducting business via social media sites. Therefore, do your research. For more traditional industries, watch them via LinkedIn, like their posts, etc. or better yet, create your own posts in LinkedIn.
By completing a social media check-up now, when January 1 rolls around and you begin your job search in earnest, you will be ready.
Anne Converse Willkomm
Director of Graduate Studies