Social Media seems to be the buzz word of this century. Everywhere you look, brands are touting their online presence in order to connect with their customers in a deep, more interactive way. As you’re in the midst of searching for a job or internship, it’s important to realize how your social media activity reflects the personal brand you’re trying to convey to potential employers. Thus, here are our Friends & Foes in the social media world.
Best Friend: LINKEDIN
Get a LinkedIn….. Did you get a LinkedIn yet? …. How about now?
Now you may ask: why does LinkedIn need to be my BFF? On a basic level, LinkedIn is the Facebook of the corporate world: it’s a networking platform, an online resume and a career searching tool in ONE. Bob McIntosh of Things Career Related lays out 10 facts you should know about this social media site in order to boost your career search. Here are the highlights: [Find the complete article here]
- Choose a PROFESSIONAL looking profile photo
- Don’t sweat the number of “friends”…. It’s about making connections, not just numbers!
- List something in your work history, even if it’s a job or internship unrelated to your desired industry
- PROOFREAD…. Spelling errors count on online profiles too
- Link your blog or professional works to your page!
FRENEMY: Facebook & Twitter
No one is trying to strip these popular social media sites of their valor, but proceed with caution. Regularly check your privacy settings and THINK before you post. It’s not a myth that many HR recruiters and employers actively seek out their candidates on search engines and/or social media platforms to get a better sense of who they may hire. Try googling yourself as a baseline check. Our message is by no means telling you to delete your accounts… in fact, some media, communications and PR positions want you to access Facebook for market research on consumer companies! Take home message: BE SMART!
FRIEND: The Bloggosphere
Blogging signifies your knowledge of online platforms (WordPress, BlogSpot, etc) and willingness to put your ideas and writing style in the public eye. As long as your content is not inappropriate, your blog posts can also show a side of your personality that might not emerge during the interview process.
POTENTIAL MORTAL ENEMY: Facebook Open Graph
Although we already listed Facebook as a “frenemy,” we felt the need to re-list it as the potential “Darth Vader” of the Social Media world, especially in light of new technology. As of this month, Facebook’s new search optimization tool “Open Graph” allows Facebook users to perform detailed searches and virtually target any of your information not explicitly set to private, according to The Social Media Monthly. Based on the current “Privacy Settings” format, here are some recommendations you should consider ASAP!
Under “Who Can See My Stuff”:
- Change Who Can See Your Future Posts?from “Everyone” to “Friends”
- Set Review all of your posts and things you’re tagged in to “Activity Log” so you can pre-approve posts before they show up on your Timeline
- Under Limit the Audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or the public, click “Limit Past Posts” ….That way you’re past posts are private!
Under “Who Can Look Me Up”
- For Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided, it is really up to you. We’d recommend “Friends of Friends” at a bare minimum, so you don’t have random people stalking you via your contact info
- Set Do You Want Other Search Engines to link to your timeline, PRESS “OFF” (This one is KEY)
The take-home message: Enjoy social media, but think about your audience!