Job seekers are often told to safeguard their social media accounts to insure that they aren’t viewed during the job search. While this can be wise advice, there is another side to the story:
Using social media to ADVANCE your job search (and your career).
With the majority of professionals (and people in general) on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. these days, being “unsearchable” via social media may be more trouble than it is worth. When I can’t find someone through social media, I sometimes wonder why–are they making all accounts super private because of something inappropriate? What’s going on?
While it is a great idea to “clean up” your Facebook or Twitter accounts so that potential employers don’t get a negative impression, you can also use social media to your advantage. I use my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts to post (publicly–so that “everyone” can see) any major accomplishments, such as receiving a promotion or presenting at a conference. I also post information about events that my office organizes or articles relevant to my field.
I work in a field that offers great work/life balance but also a good integration of professional and personal life. Many of my colleagues are Facebook “friends” so I post appropriate personal information as well, like recently buying a home, becoming engaged last year, and birthdays of my nephews and nieces.
I’ve had many Proactive Professional readers find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I’ve also received emails from professionals who Googled me and found my website and Facebook page. When this occurs, I am grateful that my public Facebook reflects positive things in my life, an interest in my field, and the work I’m doing in career counseling.
Consider going beyond protecting your Facebook from colleagues, supervisors, or potential employers. Instead, use social media to your advantage by creating a “brand” for yourself online. Using social media proactively may convince potential employers or current supervisors that you’d be a great fit within their company–or are ready for a promotion.