Social media seems to be growing in popularity every day. From connecting with friends and family on Facebook, scanning through the news on Twitter, to picking out your next vacation by searching #vacation on Instagram, social media is an integral part of our lives. What you post, when you post and how you post all impacts our day-to-day, and things can get even more complicated when you realize potential employers want to see what you’re up to. So when potential employers ask to look at your social media accounts (and they will look), make sure you put your best foot forward by emphasizing the things that can make you shine.
Regardless of how high your privacy settings are, information on social media is public, even more so than we realize. Due to how public it is, you want to be careful with what you put on your profile, the things you post, and how you interact because you never know who might come across it.
Your social platforms are you that exists in the digital world, and increasingly we are seeing employers ask for Twitter handles, Instagram usernames and Facebook links, in addition to your “professional” online profile via LinkedIn during the recruiting process. While giving all of this information to a potential employer can be intimidating, being yourself on social media could actually help your chances of landing your next gig.
#1. Social Media Helps You Put Your Personality On Display
Despite the potential dangers of social media, there are benefits to using your social media profiles and interactions as a platform to help display your unique personality for potential employers. It can provide potential employers with a tiny glimpse into your quirky personality – what you like, what you do, what you think is important – all of that helps them gain insight into who you are and what you believe is important enough to share.
While on one hand, this means that you’ll have to carefully curate what you put online, especially if you plan on leveraging it as part of your job hunt toolkit, it also means you can create quite an impact. Even if you don’t plan on leveraging it, you should always keep in mind that any potential employer will more than likely take a peak.
#2. Social Media Helps You Showcase Your Creativity
Even if the position you’re applying for doesn’t “require” creativity, you should know that every employer is looking for a little creativity. Sometimes creativity is referred to as “innovation,” – essentially a combination of creativity, logic and out-of-the-box thinking. Showcasing your creativity online can help give employers a bigger picture of who you are, how you think and what you’re capable of.
Why does creativity matter? Creativity is what helps you get out of a sticky situation, re-approach a project from a different angle, and help come up with new ideas that help bring in the (figurative or literal) big bucks.
#3. Social Media Can Help Emphasize Your Online Networking Skills
The world is increasingly digital, therefore you must learn how to interact and network online. When a potential employer takes a look at your social media profiles, they’ll likely take a peek at how you interact with others online, both in a professional setting like LinkedIn, as well as a more personal setting like your Twitter or Facebook profiles.
With that in mind, it’s particularly important to think about what we post online, and how we interact with others. Your posts and comments have the potential to go a lot further than just your page if someone likes, shares or comments on it themselves. So there a few things you’ll want to avoid when you interact with others on social media:
You don’t have to be afraid to post on social media, but make sure when you do, you put your best foot forward by showing how great at interacting, networking and communicating you are.
What To Think About When You’re Posting
When using social media, make sure your posts and interactions match your personal brand. Be conscientious of what you post, share and comment on online and how others might perceive them. This doesn’t mean you have to constantly be second-guessing yourself, but before you post ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does this add to the conversation in a meaningful way? Does it provide honest commentary to the current dialogue?
2. Is this something I truly think, feel or believe?
3. Am I OK with potential employers associating this with me?
The catch with social media is that while we believe it’s all fun and games, in the end it does help shape others opinions of us. And, any potential employer could possibly see it, and use it to decide whether or not to hire you.