Winter scene

What are your plans for the Winter Break?

Why not take the opportunity to tidy up your social media accounts?

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media, keep in mind that employers often go online during their recruitment efforts. But don’t worry – you can actually use social media to your advantage!

Your social media presence says a lot about who you are. If you share news, articles and resources, or demonstrate some of your interests and values (student groups, community volunteering), recruiters might start determining if you are a fit for some of their opportunities. They may even connect with you for an interview!

But social media accounts can also hurt a job seeker’s chances of securing an interview or job.

If you know you’ve made some posts that may be on the “damaging” side, set your profiles to private and start tidying them up! Remove any tagged photos you don’t want others to see and delete any old, embarrassing posts. Once your profiles are tidied up, you can start using them for professional purposes. Start following or liking employers you’re interested in, as well as recruiters and careers pages.

Twitter espresso

When exploring professional social media accounts, Twitter and Instagram are often the most preferred/used profiles. You can keep your Facebook profile for your own personal use, but be sure to take a look at what non-friends can see, and what may be shared to other sources (check back often on the privacy policies of all accounts you have).

According to an article in Business News Daily, hiring managers especially frown upon the following red flags in social media profiles:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or other information
  • Information about a candidate drinking or using drugs
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.
  • Bad-mouthing of a previous company or fellow employee
  • Poor communication skills

Comb through your profiles and eliminate any of the above. While you’re at it, google yourself! Be sure to go back as many as 7 to 10 results pages. But take note: it’s not necessarily a good thing if nothing at all shows up, as employers like to see your professional online presence. Consider creating professional social media pages such as a professional Twitter account, or a LinkedIn profile (and keep them tidy!).

Want more info?

The Business Career Hub held a Twitter chat all about social media etiquette. Check out this rundown for more tips.

Posted by Laura Henshaw

Laura Henshaw is a Co-op Coordinator at the TRSM Business Career Hub. With a Bachelor of Arts from Brock University and two post-grad certificates from George Brown College and Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Laura has been helping post-secondary students with their career journeys for over 8 years. Outside of work, she is an avid fan of Friends, the Blue Jays and live concerts. Follow Laura on Twitter: @HenshawLaura

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