• Are you a social media-loving grad seeking employment?

  • Have you documented your teens and twenties with photos on Instagram and Snapchat?

  • Maybe you are a parent of one of these grads trying to guide them on how to “clean up” their profiles and they refuse to hear your advice.

This is the blog you should share.

Social media can be a key factor in an employer’s decision to hire a young adult. With Google at anyone’s fingertips, hiring managers can find almost anything about a candidate’s current or past.  Social media platforms offer the easiest view into a grad’s personal life and interests – the good and the bad. Millennials have the opportunity to have social media accounts to reflect their brand and reflect the person they want the company to hire.

Here are 5 Essential Social Media Tips to create a clean and professional online presence:

1. Search Yourself: 

Type your name into several search engines including Google to monitor your online presence. Once you remove any inappropriate items (suggestions below), be aware the search engines may not remove them immediately. Expect that anyone you meet for an interview will be searching for you too.

2. Check Your Privacy Settings:

Make sure privacy and sharing settings are updated with appropriate preferences. Facebook and Instagram should be set to private while you are actively interviewing, and even sometimes while you are on the job depending on your company culture. LinkedIn should be public, as this is one of the first places employers will check a candidate.

3. Professional Presence on LinkedIn:

Make sure your profile is updated completely with a professional picture and your latest work and volunteer experiences. Get tips on how to have the right profile–watch the LinkedIn for College Students Video. Customize your URL and put the link to your profile on your resume.

4. Review Your Content – Past Posts Can Haunt You:

    • If you are not sure it should stay up, take it down! – Be aware others who tagged you may need to remove it for you. Asking a parent or mentor for advice here could be valuable – get another perspective.
    • Language –  delete any explicit language and profanities.
    • Drinking or smoking – underage or not…these should definitely not be on the profile pic or in the news feed. Delete those red cup photos now.
    • Political Commentary – this is a choice and may depend on what type of job or industry a candidate is seeking work in. A healthy respectful dialogue could be beneficial, however offering up information that may not be relevant for a job leaves you open to be judged on your views.
    • Dress/Clothing/College Party Pics – this is personal preference, but be mindful of being judged on lifestyle. We recommend no bikini posts.

5. Value Wins

Posting value-added comments online with links to relevant articles or information can reflect positively. LinkedIn is a great platform for this. Content creation can give insight to employers on how you think and generate ideas.

The bottom line…THINK BEFORE YOU POST OR COMMENT. Even deleted Snapchats cans live on if someone took a screenshot. When in doubt, leave it out.  Also, continue to be mindful of your presence once you are in the desired job. Need to share? Keep it private and send a text or email to close friends.

Social Media can be an impactful way for you to brand yourself, but make sure you are representing yourself in the image you want for the next decade going forward. Remember that the hiring practice is often quite subjective and there is no need to give anyone reason to pass you over for presumptions or judgments based on old social media choices. Present the best side of yourself that reflects your values, your skills, and your professionalism. For more tips follow Next Great Step on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Are you a grad who needs help in the job search? If you are ready to land the job and get “unstuck”, hit reply to this message and put “Get Hired” in the subject line. Tell us how we can help. Our Fast-Start Group runs monthly, contact us to find out our next start date.  Schedule a Free Consult Call HERE.