You probably think of your social media pages as your own little corner of the Web, but they also make up your personal brand. It’s not just your friends or family members taking notice of your posts either. Fifty-two percent of employers and 92 percent of recruiters say they check social media accounts before deciding whether to hire an applicant. Even more troubling, 48 percent of employers say what they found online made them pass on a candidate. What message do your social media pages send? And how can you use those pages to promote your career?
Get Active on LinkedIn
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram might be the most popular social media platforms for millennials, but when it comes to promoting your career, you’ll do it best on LinkedIn. Eighty-seven percent of recruiters say they use LinkedIn as part of their hiring processes — more than any other social network.
Think of your LinkedIn account like a digital resume, advertising your work experience and skills to potential employers. Just like a regular resume, it’ll make the best impression if it’s kept up to date. Like any other social media platform, you’ll get the most out of LinkedIn if you’re active. Join some industry groups and take an active role in their conversations.
Proofread Every Post
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation matter. According to The Hiring Site, 30 percent of employers say poor communication skills on social media are a real turnoff. Make sure your posts are free of typos, and use those common Internet acronyms sparingly, if at all. While poor communication reflects badly on all job candidates, it can be a deal-breaker for people entering fields where communication skills are prized, such as journalism and education.
When you’re proofreading your posts, also take note of the language you’re using. You might use foul language when you’re hanging out with your friends, but a prospective employer won’t be impressed.
Share the Right Content
The content you share says a lot about your interests and inspirations. Funny cat videos and the latest BuzzFeed list might be entertaining, but what do they really say about you and the type of employee you’d be? Ditto on political and religious opinions (you’re certain to offend someone so don’t take chances on it being a potential employer). Start following experts in your field and share posts from their feeds. Their influence will reflect positively on you.
Promote Any Work Experience
Sixty percent of employers are looking at your social media account for information that supports your qualifications for the job. While LinkedIn is an obvious place to showcase your talents, you can also promote your professional skills on other platforms. Share details of any work experience or volunteer work you’re doing. More than three-quarters of recruiters view these type of posts positively. Just make sure you are positive about the experience. If you badmouth the work or other employees. you’ll look unprofessional.
Your social media accounts can be much more than a way to connect with your peers. Use them wisely, and they can be a valuable way to promote your skills, build a compelling personal brand, and further your career.