Tweets, pins, statuses, hashtags, oh my! You’ve probably heard of these things if you have one or more profiles on social media. Because social media has become such a staple in today’s society, more and more employers may be googling you before they even meet you. This is just one of the many reasons why it is a great idea to polish up your online presence, especially if you are in the process of applying for internships, part-time jobs, and full-time jobs. Here are a few simple tips on how to get started:
A picture is worth a thousand words
This phrase may sound cliché, but it is completely true, especially when it comes to social media. Anyone can search for your name online. The question is what type of images will pop up when they do? Don’t let an inappropriate picture ruin your chances of landing the internship or job of your dreams. Make sure your privacy settings are secure on all of your social media accounts. This way, you can approve pictures before people can tag you and monitor who adds or follows you.
Everybody knows that one person on Facebook who complains about something every single day. Employers are looking for students who are motivated, enthusiastic, and problem solvers—not problem starters! Therefore, don’t use social media to vent about your problems, such as a frustrating job or an irritating co-worker. You never know who might read or see that one status or comment you might regret later. If you are angry or upset, find another way to express this emotion rather than posting about it online.
Have a profile on at least one professional social media platform
This is a great way to start using social media to help you network and job search! Sites such as Looksharp, About.Me, LinkedIn and more have several helpful features such as uploading online résumés, searching for jobs, and networking with actual employers. These types of social media sites are a great way to start branding yourself as a professional.
Although there are many more, these are just a few simple tips to help clean up your online presence. Keep in mind that one of the most important points is just to have awareness. Be aware of what you are posting, as well as what others may post on your profile. The bottom line is that most employers will look at your online activity before they meet you in person or even give you an interview. Make sure you are representing yourself as a professional not only in person, but also online.
Finally, although social media is a great tool, don’t underestimate the power of networking in person. Networking is consistently cited as the number one way to get a job. You may know someone right now who may help you with an internship or job in the future. Take advantage of career fairs, information sessions, mock interview days, and workshops offered through your college or university’s Career Services office. By networking at these events and monitoring your social media platforms, you will be on your way to landing the internship or job you have always wanted.