Lets face it, when it comes to finding and landing your dream job these days, social media can’t be ignored. From networking and making contact with potential hiring managers and recruiters to your future boss googling your name before taking your application any further.
So, before you start sending out job applications, the first thing you need to do is give yourself a social media audit, to make sure what you find, represents your personal brand.
In the past branding and brand identity was something that only organisations thought about, but with the explosion of social media, everything can be shared for the world to see, and now we ALL have online footprints and personal brands.
So, whether you actively manage or cultivate your personal brand or not, you have one and if you’re not managing it, then your brand is likely to be guided by what other people put out there, and it might not be the impression you want to give your future manager.
Your interviewer, the recruiter, your future team and the hiring manager are all likely to see your LinkedIn profile, your twitter feed, and your Facebook pictures before they meet you in person, so the only way to make sure that you’re making a good first impression to potential employers is to give yourself a social media audit.
Here’s why people snoop
All good hiring managers know that the best way to hire is to get someone on board who’s going to fit in well with the team and who has shared values.
In addition to this, your potential new manager needs to have confidence and trust in you. They need to know that you’re the best person to represent the business, the team and ultimately them!
So the last thing you want, is for the pictures that someone took at that one crazy party to be the thing that stops you getting a call back and getting that offer.
Here’s a checklist to help you ensure that your personal brand is protected and you’re putting your best face forward:
A clear first step is to google yourself. Since this is what prospective employers will be doing, it’s a good idea to do the same. See what comes up, then do some damage limitation and tidy it up.
2. Privacy settings
This sounds obvious but it’s easily missed. You might not think you have particularly dodgy pictures on your Facebook pages, but the question is, would you be comfortable with your future boss seeing them? It’s safer to make sure that your privacy settings are set appropriately so the only people who can look back at that crazy dance you did, or that whacky costume you wore are your friends. Bottom line is, a new job is a fresh start and you want to make a good first impression.
Once you’ve done the first two things, it’s time to focus on your Linked in profile since this is a go to staple for hiring managers and recruiters. Make sure your profile is completely up to date and puts you in the best light possible. There’s nothing worse than a Linked in profile that’s years out of date and irrelevant. Make sure you have a professional looking photo and that your profile draws out the skills and experiences that are important for the roles you’re applying for. If you don’t have one, this is the time to create a profile as it will come in handy again when networking.
4. Create a personal website
It might be time to create a personal website. Here you can showcase more of your work, and include some things that you may not want to include on your LinkedIn Profile. Having a personal website is a great way to sell yourself, particularly if you’re looking to make a career change as it gives you an opportunity to really tell your story and helps hiring managers to see beyond your CV.
Depending on your social media footprint, there may be other accounts that need checking, so be thorough.
The key thing is to make sure that if someone does take the time to look you up, what the search brings up gives a good impression and builds a positive profile. A profile of the sort of person they would like to join the organisation.