Creating a professional social media profile is a must. As we move into a time where everything is digital, it only makes sense that potential employers scan your internet profiles to get a feel for you and how you would fit in the company. If you haven’t experienced it already, then it may only be a matter of time before HR professionals are looking at your social media pages.
Social Media Stats
According to CareerBuilder, “43 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 39 percent last year and 36 percent in 2012. Additionally, 12 percent of employers don’t currently research candidates on social media, but plan to start, according to the national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder.”
Nearly half of employers are checking social media! Not only that, employers may start looking at the social media pages of current employees. What’s even more interesting is that according to another CareerBuilder survey, “51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate, up from 43 percent last year and 34 percent in 2012.” So not only are employers check social media of potential employees, but they are finding things that they shouldn’t.
While social media is a form of communication with those we don’t see every day, as we get older the drinking pictures and irrational status updates should wind down. If you are serious about your career and finding employment, then create a social media profile that reflects that. The CGS Team is going to give you a few tips to help make your social media pages more professional!
Get Rid of Anything Incriminating
If you are over 21, then the likelihood of party and drinking pictures is extremely high. Not that there is anything wrong with having fun, but your potential employer doesn’t need to see you taking a belly shot off of the cute waiter! Delete any photos, comments, or posts that are inappropriate. Anything related to sex, alcohol or drugs, and political affiliations should come down. If you don’t want to part with your pictures, have actual prints made and create a photo album of all those great memories!
Update Your Privacy Settings
If you’ve had your social media profile for years and think it would be impossible to find all of your incriminating posts, pictures, or comments, then simply update your privacy settings. You can make your page completely private where users have to request you. You can also limit the audience that your posts reach. Keeping privacy on your social media pages will help give you piece of mind if a tagged party picture comes up unexpectedly.
Upload a Professional Photo
Whether you are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other social media platform, make sure your profile picture is a professional one. You don’t need to pay for a photoshoot either. A head and shoulder shot with you in a collared shirt will do the trick. According to CareerBuilder, 43% of potential employers hired someone based off of a professional picture used on their social media profiles.
Give Them What They Want
No one says you have to stop posting pictures, comments and posts altogether; start posting things that show your strengths. If you attended a function for your current company, put up pictures of you and your co-workers. If you volunteer on the weekends, update your status to reflect how good it made you feel. Check out the Finance 101: Building Your Personal Brand article to find out how you want people to think of you. Based of those answers, your comments, posts and pictures should reflect the personal brand you are striving for.
Related: Social Media Success Tips: How to Stand Out on Social Media.
Don’t lose out on a great job because of your social media page! Has your social media profile been viewed by a potential employer when applying for a job? Have you done a social media make-over yet? Share your thoughts by adding a comment below. Let’s chat about this!
4 thoughts on “Creating a Professional Social Media Profile”
I think it’s so easy to forget about social media and that professional people are looking. Although I have strict privacy settings, I still try to monitor what I post. When it’s on the internet, I’m sure anyone can see it!
Have a friend comb through your profile- especially a newer one- who will be more objective and tell you how several pictures/statuses appear.
@sadilady18 That’s a great suggestion and it gives you insight into what others are seeing!