Use Social Networking to Help, Not Hinder Your Employability

Businesses are looking for alternative methods to source applicants and are turning to online networking activities not only to save money, but also to find top quality candidates. Careerbuilder® recently reported that at least 20 percent of employers are now searching job candidate's online networking profiles, which means it is even more important to make sure that your social networking profiles contain employer friendly information. Keep these important pointers in mind when you are online to help and not hinder your job search.

Complete and Maintain Personal Profiles

With the surge in social media sites, it is probable that you have profiles on multiple networks. All too often completing and updating your profile is forgotten. If a recruiter searches for you, will they find outdated or incorrect information? It is imperative to make sure that your profiles are consistent and regularly updated. If you do not have enough time to dedicate to maintaining all of your networks, you may want to consider deleting irrelevant accounts.

Optimize Your Online Presence

Now that you’ve cleaned up your profiles, make the best use of your personal online brand. Keywords are how recruiters and search engines identify the information they are looking for, so occurrences of keywords in your online profiles are just as important as they are on your resume. Make sure you have relevant keywords in your posts, descriptions, skills, and accomplishments.

Think Carefully About Sharing What is on Your Mind

Advancements in technology, particularly mobile applications, make it easier than ever to share in real time what is on our minds. However; it is best to ere on the side of caution when posting a social update. Whether you are using Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, or another social media outlet, be careful about what you share, as it greatly reflects who you are as a person and potential employee. While maintaining your privacy settings are always encouraged, there are typically workarounds to such systems. Consequently, do not count on them to keep employers out of your profiles. Always think before you share.

Less can be More

Be sure that you are aware of the information online that is associated with your name. Try conducting a Google™ search of yourself looking at both the web and images. Do the search results convey a positive image? Social media allows your personality to shine through, but that does not mean that you have to share everything. Stay true to your professional brand by being selective in the information that you share. Consider de-tagging any inappropriate pictures and deleting objectionable wall posts – even if you did not write them.

It is important to recognize that recruitment strategies have changed in the 21st century and the advent of social media allows recruiters to be more proactive and not passively wait for candidates to come across their newspaper ads. Always remember that you want your social networking presence helps, not hinders you job search.

About the Author: This article was written by Elizabeth Lintelman, Manager of Career Services for Rasmussen College Online.

LinkedIn is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corp.
Facebook is a trademark of Facebook Inc.
Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.
Google is a registered trademark of Google Inc.
CareerBuilder is a registered trademark of CareerBuilder Inc.

Elizabeth Lintleman

This article was written by Elizabeth Lintelman, a Career Services Manager at the Rasmussen University—Minnesota campus location. Her role includes assisting Rasmussen University Online students with career-related questions, career placement services, and job preparation tips.

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