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Online Privacy Can Hurt Your Job Search: Optimize Your Social Media Presence

Having an online presence while job seeking has become critical to be successful; while you may not be interested in posting selfies or a daily snapshot of what you had for lunch, social media for an effective job search is imperative. Even if you are not currently on the market, consistently interacting online (or at least keeping your profiles updated) will give you a head start if ever you are looking for a new position. Just as you would focus on updating your resume, employers and recruiters who are searching for new candidates, will look online to determine someone’s experience, credibility and even potential liability.  Keep in mind, a new hire is an investment for a potential employer, just as you would research a company online before making a large purchase for assurance, an employer wants that same confidence. Ready to improve your online presence? Here are 5 Tips to Optimize Your Social Media Profiles:


Start with a Social Media Audit

This is especially important for those of you who have an extensive personal social media presence. Review all of your posts and photos to make sure they are employer and recruiter friendly; delete any that may be deemed controversial or inappropriate. You should also check to make sure any posts or photos you’ve been tagged in uphold to those same standards; even if they are in good humor, an employer has not had the chance to get to know you yet and may be put off by even a crass comment.

However, you don’t need to solely post about your career especially on a platform like Facebook; you can show potential employers a holistic view of who you are by sharing family photos or rooting for your favorite sports team. An employer wants to know you are a well-rounded individual and through social media, it can provide the perfect opportunity to showcase what you might be like to work with, along with your work expertise.


Your Bio is Your Cover Letter

An interesting bio that touches on what makes you a premier candidate is essential. Employers and recruiters are inundated with resumes and potential candidates through their own online searches. Your social media headline and bio needs to display what sets you apart from other candidates and encourage them to read further.

Theresa Braun wrote in her article on “How to Write the Perfect Social Media Bio” to be concise, original, brag a little, use keywords within your specific niche and include at least one memorable and intriguing detail that would peak someone’s interest.  



Your profile picture, name and information should be consistent across all of your social media platforms. The information outlined on all of your platforms, including employment dates and experience should match-up. Your profile picture should be professional, in-focus, your face should be clearly visible and you should be wearing business attire. This picture which is essentially your personal logo, along with your name, should be consistent.

All of the above should create a unique and consistent brand on each of your platforms. If you need some help creating or tweaking your brand, check out our post “Personal Branding: Showcasing Yourself to a Potential Employer”.


Solicit LinkedIn Recommendations

Recommendation(s) are the easiest way for you to support and validate your work history and experience. A LinkedIn recommendation is reassuring to a potential employer as they can easily research the validity of the person writing the review (i.e. through their position title and connections) and also since LinkedIn is a public forum, they know that the person writing the review truly means what they say (i.e. since the review will be tied back to their own Linkedin account).

Spend time adding any previous colleagues and managers as connections and then request recommendations from relevant connections that you would like to feature. In order to request a recommendation, simply go to your LinkedIn profile and click on the dropdown box of “view profile as” and select “ask to be recommended”. Here you can select a connection and send them a message asking them to recommended you for a current or previous position.

For more job-seeking strategies, sign-up for the Paragon Group International newsletter. If you are a candidate in the Power and Energy industry, you can submit your resume here.

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