10 Ways to Professionalize Your Social Media Accounts
Employers are using the Internet more and more to screen potential candidates. In fact, 77% of employers use sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to get a better understanding of who you are outside of the traditional resume, cover letter, and interview. So it’s essential that your social media accounts are helping you instead of hurting you. Here are 10 easy ways to professionalize and monitor your online presence:
- Start this process with a simple Google search and be sure to do an image search as well. The Internet is now your new permanent record and everything you post can be held against you. By seeing what shows up when your name is searched, you get a better idea of what changes you would like to make.
Update Privacy Settings
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have some degree of privacy settings. This lets you limit what can be seen by strangers and friends. Try grouping your Facebook friends into groups in order to control which groups see certain content.
Use Proper Grammar
- Needless to say, grammatically incorrect sentences and misspelled words reflect poorly on your level of intelligence and attention to detail. Before posting, run a simple spell and grammar check to keep these errors to a minimum.
Keep Your Platform in Mind
- Facebook and LinkedIn serve very distinct purposes; be sure to keep this in mind. It’s totally normal to share your recent family vacation photos on Facebook, but it may be deemed unprofessional on LinkedIn. Similarly, you should keep your audience/ connections in mind when sharing industry related news, as you wouldn’t want to overwhelm friends and family with recent trends in your industry.
Complete Your Profiles
- How can a potential employer or colleague believe in your ability to get the job done if you can’t get a simple online profile completed? An incomplete or neglected profile shows your level of follow-through. Delete any accounts you no longer use and make sure your active accounts are entirely complete.
- What you’re tagged in is almost just as important as what you post. Whether it’s parties, relationships, or family issues, make sure every tag is something you actually want to be associated with.
Use an Appropriate Profile Picture
- Maybe the selfie in your bathing suit is cute or funny, but for potential employers, it may be childish or tasteless. Your profile picture is your first impression and it speaks to your ability to represent a company, it’s imperative to show yourself in the best light.
- Every thought and every emotion doesn’t have to be posted online. As a rule of thumb, think about whether your post is actually bringing value to yourself and others.
- Avoid swearing and offensive language at all costs. There are more than 1 million words in the English language and being able to articulate your ideas appropriately is a testament of your communication skills.
- Never lie or over-exaggerate on social media, especially on LinkedIn. Your credibility is everything and the smallest “white lie” can have a negative effect on your reputation.