According to Statista, 82 percent of Americans have a social media profile in 2021. It is one thing to have a profile, though, and a whole other to know how to properly market yourself on social media professionally.
People are very quick to build a perception of someone based on the parts of social media they have access to. It’s true that a picture says a thousand words, making social media filled with essays about who you are as a person, and who you would be as an employee. So how do you make yourself a more appealing hire when it comes to hiring managers looking for their next employee?
To market yourself on social media, get rid of all of those photos of you holding a beer bong or a bottle of liquor with your tongue out – for starters. You should save them on your computer so you can look back and laugh at the good old days, but remove them from any social media profiles because hiring managers will find you on these platforms. The last thing that you want to do is leave the impression that you are unprofessional and irresponsible. There’s a time and place for everything, but as you get older, you need to leave a positive impression for those who can help you on your way towards a prosperous career.
The perception a potential future employer has of you can change in an instant. All it takes is some light investigating on different platforms to find out where you might live, who you’re currently seeing, and the different activities you enjoy doing. You probably have found yourself taken aback when seeing some old friend’s or classmate’s social media pages. It makes you wonder what kind of life they are choosing to live. This thought is in the mind of potential employers as well. Even if you aren’t directly connected on social media, your profile picture is visible to them and certain information about you could be posted publicly. To ensure that your social media meets a professional standard, get rid of anything that may harm your reputation and make a potential employer reconsider adding you to the team. Instead, consider posting your academic and professional achievements. Twitter and Facebook can also be used to build a network of like-minded professionals to have topical discussions with. Making groups or forums that are industry-centered help show potential employers that you are serious and passionate about the position you are applying for.
Your profile photo doesn’t have to be of you wearing professional attire or a head shot you just had taken. Just try to keep it conservative and classy. Keep your postings to a minimum so it doesn’t appear that you spend every waking moment on your phone. Everyone has their own opinions on politics, lifestyles, etc., but a hiring manager might see you as an assertive personality that could cause controversy in the workplace – something no organization wants. Keep those blunt thoughts between you and your friends, and off of social media.
None of this is to say to lie about who you are, be yourself. Just remember, people aside from your friends and family view your profile. When potential employers look you up on different platforms, every word means something, every picture represents something, and you are portrayed in a certain way. Don’t be insincere, just be smart.