As a key component of your career planning and employment preparation, social media can be a helpful tool for exploring careers and connecting with professionals in the field. Here are some helpful strategies to consider when using social media:
Managing Your Online Professional Image in 4 Steps
1. Consider your Online Presence
Today more than ever employers are utilizing the internet to identify candidates and verify their qualifications and reputation. 2012 research by CareerBuilder indicates that -
• 65% of hiring managers Google job candidates as part of the initial screening process
• 34% of hiring managers reported not hiring a candidate because of an unfavourable online image
• LinkedIn and Facebook are the top sites explored when researching candidates
What this mean is that you are almost guaranteed that at some point during your job search, your online image will be assessed. What a potential employer finds may make or break their decision to hire you.
2. Evaluate your Online Presence
The best way to evaluate your online presence is to Google yourself…often (also try Bing, DuckDuckgo, Yahoo and other popular search engines). Review what you find and ask yourself the following questions -
• Is what you found helpful to your professional image?
• If you found nothing, is that really helpful to your professional reputation?
• Will the information support or contradict your resumé and interview claims?
If you are in doubt about what your online information is saying about you, consult with a professional in your desired industry or a Career Consultant at the Laurier Career Centre.
3. Monitor your Online Presence
One of the first things you can do to manage your online presence is to review and adjust your privacy settings on an ongoing basis. Social Media experts recommend that for dynamic sites like Facebook you will want to monitor your settings at least on a monthly basis. You will also want to edit or remove those elements (e.g. pictures, videos, comments, associates etc.) that do not contribute positively to your desired professional image.
4. Enhance your Online Presence
One of the best ways for enhancing your online presence is establishing a search engine optimized professional profile on a respected professional networking site such as like LinkedIn. As you engage in searches and activities on this website, it will become one of the first websites that an employer sees when they Google your name.
Other professional image-enhancing online activities include developing and maintaining a personal website or blog, joining field-related online networks and discussion groups. You may also choose to upload publications, conference presentations, articles and other professional artifacts to various web locations. For example, LinkedIn allows you to upload rich formatted documents to display your work.
Using Social Media to Build Your Professional Profile and Job Search Campaign
Do you want to learn more about a career field, establish your professional online profile and connect with professionals or alumni in your field? LinkedIn is the most widely respected professional social media sites available. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to establish a personal profile and to network virtually with the industry leaders, recruiters, and other professionals within a strictly career-relevant forum.
In fact, many of the biggest companies in the world have representatives who post jobs exclusively on LinkedIn.
Ready to create your professional LinkedIn Profile? After previewing the profile related "how to" tip sheets and tutorials you can click here to create a profile.
Already a member of LinkedIn? Preview the relevant "how to" tip sheets and tutorials to help you stand out postively and network effectively using this site.
Wondering if Twitter can assist you with your job search? Twitter is becoming a growing social media site for professional networking and information sourcing. You can find valuable information related to your career and make connections with a growing number of professionals and professional organizations. A great place to start would be the twitter job search engine.
Looking for timely career information or insights from other Laurier students? Want quick tips and information relevant to your real-time needs? Follow our student bloggers who will share with you their experiences with job searching and career development.
Interested in upcoming Career events? "Like" the Laurier Career Centre on Facebook to keep informed about upcoming career workshops, professional panels, employer sessions and other special events. For a complete listing of events visit the Career Events calendar.