5 Tips for Making Sure Social Media Helps You Get a Job

Employers routinely scour social media before making a hire. You're smart to carefully construct the online version of you they will find.

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By Tom Mcgrath • Jun 6, 2015 Originally published Nov 11, 2014

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Even if you're not seeking a position in social media, there's been a fundamental shift in recruiting and screening techniques that have created a liability for the vast majority of those who have built up a large archive of online content. Thankfully, updating your social media accounts is within your control. Follow these five steps before starting a dream job search.

Related: California Gives Kids a Way to Erase Their Scandalous Social-Media Posts. Sort Of.

1. Clean

It's time to freshen up your digital footprint by removing inappropriate pictures, statuses or tweets as it's unlikely potential employers will find amusing you bonging a beer at your fraternity formal. Consider using a tool with text and image recognition to scan content. It's a way to carefully scan your profiles and delete material quickly.

2. Unlink

New plug-ins such as 360 Social are doing the dirty work for hiring managers by crawling the Internet for a specific email address. All associated accounts are pulled up, even if they've been dormant for years. So, if you were once the mayor of the local pub on Foursquare, it will be found. By unlinking or deleting social accounts, you'll keep those discoveries at a minimum.

Related: Myspace is Emailing Embarrassing Old Photos to Lure Back Lapsed Users

3. Unify

All content across your social media platforms should be streamlined. It doesn't mean you should just copy and paste, but it's important that any profile accessed tells the same story in terms of job history, skill sets and professional highlights. It's about creating a personal brand and sticking to it. Once you've identified how you plan to market yourself, you can even get creative and use sites such as Wordle.net to construct personalized word clouds.

4. Optimize

It's time to take a look at your social profiles and make sure there are keywords relevant to the position you're seeking. Whether you're looking for a job in retail, sales or finance, these terms should be sprinkled into your descriptions so recruiters are able to quickly locate you through a search.

5. Engage

Facebook and Twitter can be fun places to chat with your friends and followers, but are potential business opportunities as well. First, identify the top companies where you're interested in pursuing a position, then begin to engage with decision makers and employees. You can use social media as a foot in the door to introduce yourself. Additionally, it's a great place to monitor what companies find important, gauge tone and start to identify what attributes prospective employees should possess.

Related: Build a Social Media Hiring Strategy

Tom Mcgrath

Founder and CEO of Social Sweepster

Tom McGrath is the CEO and founder of social media cleansing app Social Sweepster. He studied entrepreneurship at Indiana University and in his spare time enjoys coming up with acoustic versions of popular hip-hop songs. 

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