More and more hiring managers will check out your social media profiles before they even invite you for an interview, so it’s essential to carry out an audit before you start applying for jobs. For obvious reasons, this is especially important in the media industry. It’s vital that you ensure a potential employer won’t see anything off-putting. It’s also critical that you prove you can use social media to good effect. The following should help you do both!
- Google yourself and put yourself in your future employer’s shoes. What would they think of you?
- Ensure you have an up to date LinkedIn profile that makes for interesting reading. Most employers, particularly in media, are put off by anyone who doesn’t have one, no matter how junior or senior they are. Include hobbies and/or charity work etc., to help you stand out from the crowd.
- Think about your privacy settings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Balance this, though. You don’t necessarily have to use the strictest privacy settings. If you know you can manage your profiles effectively, you might find that they actually help you get your next move.
- Remember that other people can tag you on Facebook and Instagram so, if you decide to keep your profiles public, consider changing your settings. On both, there are options to review any posts you’re tagged in before they are posted to your profile. It’s also worth using the “hide inappropriate comments” function on Instagram.
- Make your posts interesting! They don’t have to be industry related (though a few of those would be a good idea), but they should show that you are well-rounded. Remember to check your spelling and grammar, too.
- Include images with your posts.
- Follow companies that are of interest to you. Be a fan and interact with them – where appropriate, as your current employer will see these interactions too!
- Join relevant groups and be an active member.
- Get recommendations from people who have worked with you and drip feed them onto LinkedIn (rather than suddenly getting ten new recommendations, which might look a little odd to your current employer). This will make you, and by extension, your current employer look good, too.
- Ensure you have a photo of yourself on LinkedIn and try to make sure you have that 500+ connections sign on your profile.
- Make use of hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Think about what your future employer might search for. Use these for your own searches too.
- Check your current employer’s social media policy before posting/publishing anything that mentions them.
- Get too political or swear too much. If you want to be able to do these things, just create a separate profile on each channel which you use exclusively for your job search and turn your privacy settings to high on your personal profiles.
- Complain about your colleagues publicly – even after a really hard day at work!
- Use too many hashtags – no-one likes that!
- Post anything that you’d be embarrassed by in an interview.
- Publicly criticise any previous employers.
- Just lurk on Twitter. Get involved, be active, have conversations.
- Reference anything illegal – this might seem obvious but research shows that it’s not as rare amongst job seekers as you might think!
- Pass off other people’s research or opinions as your own. Always give people credit.
Lastly, don’t forget that nothing has replaced networking IRL! Attend events, meet people, go for interviews even if you’re not sure it’s the perfect job for you, make as many contacts as you can as you never know when you might end up working together.