Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If the answer is no, you’re missing out on many great opportunities to network with others in your field. More importantly, you’re missing out on potentially finding your next great employment opportunity.
Today more than ever before, employers are heading to social media to find their next star employee. According to a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management, 77% of employers are using social media in order to attract the passive job candidate. That means that employers are not only checking out your social media profiles once you apply for positions, but they are actively seeking you out through social media even if you haven’t already applied for a job.
What does this mean for you? First and foremost, it means that your social media presence should be an accurate and respectable representation of who you are. If you are currently looking for a job, you should be representing yourself in a professional manner on any form of social media. This means cleaning up your Facebook and Twitter pages. Once you apply for a job, one of the first things that many employers do is Google your name to locate your Internet presence. That means they will peruse your Facebook and Twitter pages (or other pages if they exist) to get a better idea of who you really are.
Before you even begin to look for a job, Google yourself. If you find anything defamatory or that you think could represent you in a negative light, remove it immediately! If friends tag you in Facebook pictures and those pictures aren’t flattering or could be deemed offensive in any way, untag yourself. The general idea is to create a social media brand for yourself. This brand should flow throughout all of your social media pages and should reflect the image of you that employers want to hire.
After you have done all that, you need to create a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t done so already. LinkedIn is the largest online professional networking site and can connect you with thousands of individuals, employers and related groups in your chosen career field. Don’t wait until you are close to graduation to put together this profile; you should start building your LinkedIn presence as soon as you can. LinkedIn provides some great resources for how to construct a great profile and you can find all of these resources at the LinkedIn Career Services Resource Center. There are lots of great articles to read, but probably the most important is this piece on how to build the perfect LinkedIn profile. It basically tells you everything you need to know about what goes into making a great profile.
So remember – employers are checking out your online presence. Here are four things you need to do today:
- Google yourself
- Clean up your online presence
- Create an online brand
Develop a solid LinkedIn profile
About the author:
Sam A. Mannino is the director of Career Services at Sullivan University’s Louisville campus. Prior to his current position, Sam was the director of Career Services at Sullivan College of Technology and Design. He has a background in education and workforce development and worked for nine years at Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce.
When not at Sullivan, Sam likes to read, travel when he can and most importantly spend time with family and friends, including his pug, Tori.