Scanning your social media accounts is the new calling card for managers, recruiters, and new coworkers, and you’ve been warned time and time again to make sure your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are appropriate for prying eyes. With Facebook’s new announcement that you can find and apply to jobs directly through their platform, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your social media presence.
There’s a catch: simply hiding your profile from view is actually doing you more harm than good. There’s a reason why recruiters and hiring managers are looking for you online, besides to find out if you’ve committed any crimes. They’re looking for a glimpse of who you are outside of your resume: the person behind the list of qualifications, degrees, and polished interview presence. The things that make you best suited for a job are the things that don’t typically show up in a professional interview process: your imagination, your trustworthiness, and other soft skills are what make you most valuable.
By not developing a personal, professional online presence, you’re missing an opportunity to fully shine. 93% of hiring managers check up on your social media profiles before making a hiring decision. Your professional contacts want to learn more about you, too – so by censoring your own presence, you’re missing opportunities to connect.
No one wants to turn their Facebook into a professional profile, either. There’s a reason why you haven’t accepted your grandmother’s friend request – even if your profile isn’t inappropriate, it’s still nice to keep some things between friends than shared with the whole world.
At BULLIT, we have some tips for making sure you’re getting the most out of the profiles you have – and that you’re building a resume for your personality that will help spur your career to great heights. Here are our 9 do’s and don’ts for cleaning up your social media.
DO “Like” a Company on Facebook
Following a company’s social media pages is a great way to keep up to date with their latest news and get a peek inside their company culture. They probably won’t notice if you comment or share their posts, but if you’re looking for a leg up in the interview, knowing your stuff is critical.
DON’T Go Crazy Creating Accounts
Having a social media presence doesn’t mean being present on every social media channel. Lock it down with a few well curated, cleanly maintained accounts that show who you are consistently. Keep it to the standard LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles, as well as any other profiles that are relevant to your industry. And that MySpace page you created in middle school? Time to take that one down.
DO Keep it Consistent
It pays to have common threads among your social media accounts, whether that means sticking with one profile picture, one tagline for both Twitter and Instagram, or always having the same header image. Create a brand “you” by posting regularly, about consistent topics, and with a semi-professional headshot.
DON’T Go on a Twitter Rant
No matter how badly you may want to vent about something on Twitter, this will always come back to bite you. While it’s great to show your personality, do it with balance: BULLIT lets you respond to feedback (or hide it effectively), but once something is on Twitter, it’s there forever.
DO Take it Offline
Social media is great for connecting with people, but don’t forget to follow-up IRL! People care about you, not your avatar: since they’re going to be looking to work with you day in and day out, it’s better to meet someone in person for coffee rather than lurking around the internet. Plus, meeting a potential new colleague in person gives you the chance to scope out what they’re like to work with, so you can tell if you’re be happy sitting next to them day in and day out.
DON’T Share Everything
Seriously. No one needs to see a picture of your brunch, even if it does look #blessed.
Really, we’re talking about those photos from spring break back in high school that you just never got around to taking down. The internet never forgets, so be careful what you post and clean up what you can. If you’re worried about what might be out there already, check out these tools from The Muse for cleaning up your social media.
DO Curate your BULLIT Profile
BULLIT is the only social network that gives you the chance to show off your personality as a professional asset. Curate reviews from your network to highlight your soft skills – things like leadership, creativity, timeliness, and logic. We put you in full control of your profile: respond to feedback, hide it, or flag harassment and have it taken down immediately.
DON’T Send Generic Messages
Whether you’re reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn or via Twitter messenger, make sure to customize each of your queries to the specific person. Spend a little time reading about them, get deeper insights on their work style on BULLIT, or go through a common connection to stand out from the crowd. While you’re at it, better than cold calls (cold messages) are those connections you make through group participation – joining LinkedIn industry groups or forums and contributing to the conversations in a meaningful way.
DO Connect with Everyone!
It can be tempting to just try to build a connection with the person holding your resume, but it’s much more meaningful to have conversations with the people who may become your future coworkers. Do your research on social to see who you may work with (they’ll be looking for you, so might as well return the favor!). Ultimately, your position at the company is contingent on the manager, not the recruiter.
Also published on Medium.