Managing your social media footprint

Social media is arguably one of the greatest modern day resources in the job hunt. From advertising yourself on Twitter, to building a professional LinkedIn profile – your presence online could mean the difference between being offered a job - or not. While it’s important in this century to ensure your brand has a strong presence online, it’s even more important to bear in mind that online, there is nowhere to hide.

Employers are increasingly using social media to check out potential candidates. Many have said they were often finding information online about a candidate that led them to bypass applications: inappropriate photos, evidence that they drink or do drugs, have poor communication skills, have lied on their CV or often act in an unprofessional manner.

But it’s not all bad. Many employers revealed that they’ve actually found content online that prompted them to hire a candidate! So now is the time to review your online presence. If you Google your name, what comes up? Are you coming across as professional, with strong communication skills, great experience and an interest in the relevant industry? Do you look like a strong candidate?

If not, then here are our five simple steps to getting your social media footprint into shape:

Start with a spring clean

Remove anything inappropriate, whether that’s a photo of you on a night out, an angry rant, or a misspelled status. Don’t be lazy!  You’ll need to go right back to your digital birth to ensure there is nothing scary lurking anywhere. And check out all the social media accounts you are on: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram….

Get Linked Up

If you haven’t already, then build a LinkedIn profile. This is an online CV, which will list all your past jobs, achievements and awards. Ask past employers to write testimonials on your profile – so that potential employers can instantly see your potential. Then use LinkedIn to raise your visibility and actively job hunt.

Start Tweeting

Twitter is a great way to get involved in your relevant industry. Set up an account, and start following industry leaders and relevant people. The next step is to start interacting with them in a professional manner– showing employers that you are interested and active within their field.

Set your Facebook to private

While Twitter and LinkedIn are fantastic for networking and building your personal brand, Facebook is a more personal affair. Keep your personal profile set to private in order to avoid any embarrassing revelations from the past.

Remember there’s nowhere to hide

Remember that everything you share on the web is visible to everyone. If you wouldn’t be happy to say it in an interview, then play it safe and don’t put it online….

This article was written by Cambridge-based career specialists Career Ambitions, who work alongside individuals to enable them to proactively manage their career.