We all know the basics. Don’t take pictures with red solo cups, don’t look like a maniac in your profile picture, and set your page to private. But with more and more employers using social media to research and screen job candidates, knowing how to use your Facebook and other social media accounts to your advantage is something every student should know. After researching the do’s and don’ts of social media profiles, we came up with the best advice for students who are ready to start the job hunt!
Go solo in your profile picture:
Even though most of us would choose a picture that includes friends, significant others, or our dogs and cats, many sources suggest using a profile picture that is of just you. This helps cut down on confusion when someone is searching for you and also gives you a better chance of having a professional looking picture.
LinkedIn is a social media site dedicated to professionals that want to network and showcase their resumes. Once on the site, you can add former co-workers, current bosses, or even follow potential employers. It’s a great resource to use when looking for jobs and connecting with people in your field. To put your best food forward, consider getting a professional picture done to use for your profile. For more information on LinkedIn, read: http://ukthestudy.blogspot.com/2012/01/linkedin.html
Watch what you say:
Ranting online about how you hate your current boss won’t look great if a potential employer looks you up. As much as you enjoy telling the world how you feel through your status updates or tweets, it’s best to avoid sharing about political opinions, angry rants, or other controversial material might offend someone.
Customize your privacy settings
Privacy settings on Facebook and Twitter can be a little confusing, but knowing how to customize them can save you a lot of heartache. For example, on Facebook, you are in control of who sees what. If your Facebook profile is private, but you’d like anyone searching for you to see your interests or work experience, you can set those to show up on your wall. On the other hand, pictures from your awkward teen years, wall posts about wild weekends, and things like political views can be set to be shown only to your closest friends. Even with the added security settings, however, many sources suggest keeping a close eye on what you post and are tagged in anyway. Some employers have been known to ask candidates to pull up Facebook pages during an interview or to have interviewees “friend” a human resources employee for the company.
Get your own “Personal Brand” page:
This might be a little too extreme for some students, but creating a new Facebook page for your professional self could help you make sure that only the best side of you is shown. Choose professional looking photos, add your resume, and post things that are related to your future career or current job. This can be a great way to show that you’re up to speed with all of the current trends and information in your field and can be a more casual way to show your professional accomplishments and qualifications. Students can also find free templates online to create their own website. Sites like wordpress.org and www.wix.com make it easy to customize the look and settings of your personal website!
Pick your Interests/Hobbies carefully:
Since most privacy settings allow for employers to see the hobbies and interthe About Me section, make sure that all of these spots are filled with relevant information. If LinkedIn
is the platform to show your professional side, Facebook is the platform to show the more “human” side of yourself. These areas give the employer a chance to see your personality, creative interests, and hobbies. In today’s world, employers are looking for well-rounded, happy candidates that can contribute many things. By showing them your personality, you can give employers a better picture of who you both in and out of a work environment.
For more information on making our social media account employer-friendly, check out these websites