There's an old saying that goes, "All publicity is good publicity." But that was long before social media. Many have written about the perils of posting brazenly sexist, racist or even just wildly immature comments or photos to the Internet. Many more have lost their jobs and ended their careers by not heeding these warnings.
While common sense dictates a certain amount of discretion for most of us, job seekers may not realize that there are actually ways to utilize their social media presence to secure that next interview. Here are 3 ways to make social media work for you:
1. Post photos showcasing you at your best: If your cover letter highlights your leadership abilities, post photos of you mentoring younger people. If it says you're a strong networker and communicator, post photos of you attending industry events or speaking at one.
2. Post links to relevant articles and publications: You'll look smart, current and experienced, like someone an employer doesn't have to spend a lot of time training. Remember they all want to save money and time and the hiring process can be a costly one, especially when a new hire doesn't work out. Make yourself look like a homerun.
3. Make your Facebook page private: You'll have more freedom to express yourself and you can instead use your Twitter feed to market your professional self. Courtney Jespersen, Director of Recruitment at The Russ Reid Company, North America's largest Direct Marketing firm, advises job seekers to think twice about their Facebook privacy settings before posting photos of themselves partying, drinking or anything that might appear irresponsible to a potential employer. Most importantly, however, when in doubt, make it private. "In this day and age when privacy settings are so easy to use it speaks to their overall judgment skills and decision-making capabilities," she said.
Think of the Internet as your online dating profile for potential employers. Imagine what it is they value and find ways to demonstrate that you exemplify those ideals. Who knows, you could end up with employers knocking on your door.