It is best advisable to replace your hipster profile picture on Facebook if you are on the lookout for a new job. Experts recommend that you should be very careful about your online image while job hunting. Uploading content that is in contrast to what your curriculum vitae says about you could prove disastrous to your career growth.
Author of the new eBook, ‘From Student to Salary with Social Media’, Victoria Tomlinson is advising students to clean up their social media profiles and tighten their privacy settings because employers do make judgements if they see unpleasant language and behaviour online. Tomlinson said: “Just last week we saw one student who proudly announced on Facebook, for the world to see, that he had three interviews —and then went on to say: ‘amazing what bull @#^$# can do’”.
What to remember
Tighten privacy settings on your Facebook account so that only friends can see your profile
Make sure all your profiles look professional; remove bad language and such photos
Understand the keywords for your career –these are what employers might search on Google or LinkedIn to find a candidate
Create a Twitter account and start following key people in your profession
Draw up your top ten ‘dream employers’ who are using social media. Follow them and start conversations with them through Twitter
Create a LinkedIn profile and make sure it is 100 per cent complete
Make sure the photos on your profiles reflect the image you need for the career
Start a professional blog and demonstrate your passion for a career by researching and posting blogs once a week
Use this blog as part of your CV
See if your dream job employers have a blog. Subscribe to it, start reading and occasionally making an intelligent comment
Tomlinson added that social media offers students and graduates a chance to stand out in the job market: “Students are surprised when we say they should have a professional LinkedIn profile. Already a third of employers are recruiting by putting jobs online and searching for people on LinkedIn with the right skills and experience. It is important to include keywords in your profile so that you will be found when employers run a Google or LinkedIn search.” Written for students, career advisers and parents, the eBook is practical and packed with tips and advice from employers and headhunters as well as examples of students successfully using social media to win a job.It covers how to protect a student’s ‘personal digital footprint’; create a professional profile online; include keywords for Google; create LinkedIn and Twitter profiles; engage with employers online and write a blog to demonstrate passion for a career.
Joshua Rodriguez, a final year student at Manipal University, said: “The best thing to do is to change your privacy settings on Facebook in such a way that you cannot be searched for on Google. Unless you add someone on Facebook as a friend, they cannot see what your profile looks like. Or, you could keep a social profile and a professional one.”
Students have also started to recognise the importance of having a profile on professional networking website Linkedin. “I had a LinkedIn account for a while but never actively took any interest in it. After I heard about the importance and usefulness of Linkedin I decided to complete my profile and actually start to use it. Within a day companies were approaching me for job interviews,” said Josh Jervis, third year economics and management student at the University of Leeds. -firstname.lastname@example.org