Your Guide for Social Media Success

John Krautzel
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Knowing how to manage your social media presence can make or break your job search. That's because as many as 70 percent of employers screen candidates through social networks. HR and hiring managers may take a look at your Twitter feed, Facebook posts and LinkedIn comments to gauge your expertise, knowledge and communication skills. Use each type of website to your advantage and leverage you next job opportunity.

Facebook

Facebook has more than 2 billion users, and it's the most popular social media tool on the planet. It's also the most complicated social network to clean up in terms of your online presence. Take a look at Facebook's privacy settings. Mark some posts as private for only your friends to see, but your employment information, location and professional skills should remain public to allow interested potential employers to learn more about you.

Go through your posts and likes, and then distance yourself from any objectionable posts. Even if you liked a post from a year ago and it shows up on your feed, it could damage your reputation. Companies do not want to see you bad-mouth previous employers, discriminate against someone, or falsify your qualifications and experience.

If you have a personal Facebook page that is simply too huge to sift through, consider starting an entirely new Facebook page for your professional persona. The difficulty with starting over on a new Facebook account is that your employer may think you don't have a lot of experience with social media, so you must balance too much content on your feed with too little.

Engage with Facebook groups, industry leaders, companies you admire and colleagues within your network. This demonstrates you stay on top of industry trends and issues affecting your field of expertise.

Twitter

Twitter offers a fantastic way to engage with executives and company higher-ups. Twitter's compact platform lets you expand your network with quick posts, likes, replies and re-tweets. A vast percentage of your Twitter posts should focus on industry-specific issues, trends and concepts. Respond to posts from industry leaders to further your engagement on this social media platform. Twitter isn't as comprehensive as Facebook, but it's still a valuable tool for making connections.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an obvious choice for social media among business professionals. Creating a dynamite profile with a professional headshot is a given. However, expand your horizons on LinkedIn by writing blogs, commenting on other people's posts and connecting with industry professionals. LinkedIn also has robust search tools to help you find a job, groups you can join that discuss current trends and issues, and a way to update your skill set quickly.

LinkedIn lets you update you resume quickly and effortlessly. It's also a medium wherein employers seek out qualified candidates. If you're interested in a certain company or industry, use the right keywords to capture an employer's attention even if you're not looking for a job. You might find a great opportunity that you cannot pass up when a company reaches out to you instead of the other way around.

If all other things are equal on a job search, your social media presence can put you ahead of other candidates when landing a great job. Take your social networks into consideration when getting ready to apply for your next opportunity.


Photo courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • Charles T.
    Charles T.

    In short you are saying give the world all your info. Social media has control.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mike W thanks for your comment. I would imagine that it would depend upon the type of job you are seeking whether or not having a social media presence matters. For example, in my work, it would be very difficult not to have a social media presence because of the amount of work I do with the public. It would also make it a bit difficult for a hiring manager to learn about you prior to the job interview. Not sure if it would turn a hiring manager away or not. Most of the people who apply for positions have at least one social media account; ;typically LinkedIn. I guess time would tell. If you are applying for jobs but not getting any response, you might want to reconsider your stance.

  • C.M. "Mike" Wierick
    C.M. "Mike" Wierick

    Here is a question for you. How about the interviewee who does not have a "social media prescence? I do not have a twitter account, a facebook account, or any other account. All I have are my two email accounts. I do not believe that I need to be spreading my business (family, personal, etc) all over the WWW. If someone wants to know something about me, they should have the decency to walk up and ask. The hardest answer they will get that is not rude is: that is not something I am prepared to discuss with you.

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