Social Media for College Students and Recent Graduates
The days of the resume are long gone. Today, your future employer will be doing a deep dive into your social media activity. Yes, potential employers will be looking at your social media presence. According to a 2016 Career Builder website, 60% of employees will look to Social Media to screen job candidates. They will be looking to find out if you drink too much on weekends, what your political stances are, if you have spoken badly about a previous employer and much more. Think your settings are private and that they won’t get to this content? You’re wrong. There are companies that specify in just this type of thing. Nothing that you put online is truly private. This is why Social Media for College Students and Recent Graduates should be an integral focus.
Yes, this means that you’ll need to spend time on changing your privacy settings and cleaning up your posts. It’s not all doom and gloom. This also means that you have a huge opportunity. After you clean up your social profiles, begin to seed it with content that shows you are serious, that you know your stuff, and that unlike the rest of your friends you are ready to enter the workforce.
Take it from Adrianne Machina of Tornado Marketing and Social Media instructor at University of Wisconsin-Madison for Social Media studies. She says that “Every single person in the work force needs to understand how to conduct themselves professionally online. Today, an employer’s evaluation of your social grace, ambition and charisma extends past the interview room and into the social media arena. New graduates especially need to demonstrate social media savvy, because without a solid career track record, the most insightful evidence of who you are comes from what you post and how you interact online.”
Today we’ll discuss the reasons why your online social media profiles are MORE important than your resume and we’ll give you social media tips to make you into a palatable and desirable candidate from your social media profiles.
Social Media for College Students and Recent Graduates
Your future employer is looking more often to social media to find candidates that will fit the skills and mindset of their organization instead of searching resumes or job sites like Monster.
This also means that you should not neglect LinkedIn and newcomers like MyOpportunity. LinkedIn is the number one site for business networking, so as much as you may not like it, begin to dress up your profile and seed it with content related to your industry of choice. The newer business social networks may give you an edge in making connections.
A Sept 2015 study on Social media and recruiting shows that
- 92% of recruiters look at Social Media when looking for talent
- 87% use LinkedIn
- 55% use Facebook
- 47% use Twitter
This means that if you don’t have a strong (and appropriate) social media presence you will get significantly less job offers.
How to Convert Social Media into a Resume
You don’t have to become a corporate automaton online to get that dream job. But you do need to take some steps to sell yourself to potential employers and clients. Remember that as an employee you represent your employer even when you aren’t working. Remember Justine Sacco? She’s the one who made an insensitive tweet about Africa, AIDS and race. That tweet got her fired and really messed up her life. You want to convey to your employer that there is no chance of you becoming a Justine Sacco.
Clean Up Your Accounts
Yup. You’ll have to do some purging. Keep in mind that you are developing a brand for yourself. Yes. You are branding yourself so that people see you as the perfect candidate. The images used on this post were found by a simple public search. Don’t make it easy for potential employers to turn you down or outright ignore your actual resume. These are the things you need to consider when you begin to clean up your social media accounts:
Overtly sexual or inappropriate images, videos and posts
While you need to portray yourself accurately, you don’t want to put off the person hiring you. Those boudoir photos you took for your friend’s photography class need to be set to private. Keep your mom in mind. If it would embarrass your mom, you probably don’t want it on social for job search.
Remove any and all profanity from your public profiles. It makes you look unprofessional.
Content where you take part in consistent alcohol use and anything that has to do with drugs
Even in a state where some drugs are legal, it will not help you to be open about drug and alcohol use. It is one thing to be in a photo where there is a cocktail or glass of wine on the table. It is another for your potential employer to see you doing shots while you are disheveled at a bar.
Items relating to race, religion, gender and other sensitive issues
You don’t want to offend anyone, and you certainly don’t want to lose a job or client because you don’t have the same political or religious views. It is best to keep your political and religious views to yourself unless you’re going into religion or politics.
Negative comments about prior employers or co-workers
The last thing an employer wants to see is that a former employer speaks badly about them, discloses proprietary information, or has a poor rapport with team members. I’d extend this to bad mouthing anyone, including professors and friends.
Poor grammar shows a lack of attention to detail and can portray a lack of caring and education.
While companies are not supposed to skip a candidate because of medical issues, they can and will. Keep your medical information private and outside of any social network.
Check your resume versus your social media profiles. Make sure that everything matches from your dates of employment to your job experience. The last thing you want is to be at your interview and be caught in a lie of inconsistency.
Polish Your Brand
Remember how we spoke about brand. It’s not enough to have a squeaky clean profile. You need to spice things up. You need to make yourself interesting so you stand out among the rest. You need to make it easy for potential employers to see why you would be of value to their company. Here are a few things to get you started:
Change your profile images to a professional one: That selfie of yourself in Cozumel during Spring break with the beer funnel has to go. Change it to a more tame image. Better yet, change it to images of you at work or doing charity work. Even if your profiles are private, most networks will show your profile image, so keep this in mind at all times.
Update your work history: Let your potential employers see that you are proud of the places that you work and that you consider them a part of you. It will convey the idea that you believe that work is an integral part of who you are.
Update your job qualifications: Do this on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and MyOpportunity. Don’t be shy about showcasing your skills.
Let your personality come through: Yup, this exercise is not about making you a sterile candidate. Companies want someone who has a personality. So, if you have a particular company in mind, think about how your posts fit their company culture. Begin to customize your posts and images to this.
Showcase your interests: Your future employer wants to know that you are well rounded. Go ahead and share your interest on your social media profiles.
Make yourself into an industry leader: Share content from the industry you are interested in entering and include some commentary behind it. Don’t be afraid to show off that you know your stuff.
Use Keywords: Think of the skills that would make you palatable to your industry of choice. Make sure to include those in your headlines for social networks. Don’t just say what you’re currently doing for work, but rather what you’d like to be doing.
Be Consistent: You’ll want to publish industry related content to your blog, social media accounts, and forums like Quora on a consistent basis. This will allow them to easily see that you are a market leader and that you are fully committed to your industry. You can use a website like Socialdraft to schedule your social media updates and save time in these efforts.
Join Forums & Groups: These are great places to network, stay on top of what is current, and to learn. Look for Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and subreddits dedicated to your industry.
Add a Custom Signature: Make sure to include your LinkedIn url in your signature. This way you direct them to click on your profile and connect.
Create an Online Resume: Nina Mufleh became the talk of the town when she created a very creative resume. Her goal was to work for Airbnb. Her strategy? She created a website that looked like an Airbnb host profile. It included her skills, tons of information about the company and the travel industry, and most importantly that she thinks outside of the box. Come up with fun and creative implementations of a resume to get your dream job’s attention.
While we have an entire article on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, these are a few LinkedIn specific tips to get you started. Make sure to check out how to maximize your LinkedIn connections as well.
Cross Promote: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is included in your email signature.
Be active daily: This means sharing industry content, writing articles, and participating in industry groups. This will help you come up higher on search.
Be Public: Make sure your profile is public so you can be indexed by Google and easily found.
Accept InMail: Go to your privacy settings and make it so you can accept InMail. Many recruiters use this to contact prospects.
How to Manage your Social Media Accounts
Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Acccounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:
Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…
If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.