Dear Lola*Cat –
How can I use social media to my advantage when job hunting?
Excellent question my little kitten.
Firstly though, I have a cat rant: I must address this human fascination for shooting off fireworks each 4th of July. What kind of sick creature would get enjoyment in seeing a normally poised feline such as myself found holding onto dear life half way up my fine silk curtains? It is all beyond my comprehension and should be stopped!
There, ok, now back to your question.
If you are looking for a new career opportunity, you should be spending more time and attention on the BANG you present with your online presence.
Here are some of Lola*Cat’s Dos and Don’ts on the subject:
DO: ‘Like’ and ‘follow’
Following a company on social media can give you the advantage of seeing their job postings sooner than those who are not connected. You can also get a feel for the values and culture of the company by following their social media activities. Be careful not to stalk, be too chummy or make comments that could be thought of as inappropriate though.
DON’T: Let your social media fun cost you a job.
It would be utterly embarrassing for you, (yet highly amusing to me), if I were to post a position for a Senior Executive Assistant and then see that picture of you passed out under a table with underwear wrapped around your head like a turban. I’m sure it was a fun night and you received many ‘likes’ from your friends but companies don’t like it one bit. This recent Business Week article noted that 48 percent of candidates had information about them drinking or using drugs on social media outlets. Ouch! On to the next ‘do’ then!
DO: Review and clean up your social profiles
More and more hiring managers review social media profiles before extending job offers, so be careful that your profile reflects you professionally. This means going through all of your social media profiles with a fine-toothed comb making sure that you are accurately represented.
Things to remove from your online profile(s):
- Party photos that feature excessive drinking, drugs, wild behavior.
- Unkind, derisive remarks about your old boss, company, friends etc. This includes nasty Yelp reviews.
- Poor grammar. Rhianna gets away with this but it just makes you look like you have poor communication skills.
Here’s an article on cleaning up your Facebook profile.
DO: Join a LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn has scads of groups made up of people with similar work experience that you can network with. Companies often advertise their positions through these groups so once you join, drop in and interact with the group on a regular basis. Share useful content, tips and ideas with the group to show your interest and stand out in the virtual crowd.
HINT: I would imagine anyone who shares job search advice from the feline paragon of career advancement would have the admiration of the group in no time.
DON’T: Panic and get off social media.
Don’t dump all of your social profiles because you are afraid someone might see something embarrassing. Many employers are looking to find more about you – all the good stuff about you online can very well help you land that great job. Employers are looking for reasons ‘to’ hire you as much as being careful in their choices.
DO: Be an online feline
Some socially savvy kittens put together a website of their professional experience and superpowers. Why not advertise your wonderful talents to the world while job hunting? Vizify is a service that let’s you put together a personal website based on your social profile data.
The time you spend to make sure that your online profiles sing to the professionalism and capabilities you have to offer will be well spent. The photos of that wild weekend in Cabo, not so much.
Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com