Branding Yourself on Social Media

By: Jamie Hooker

If a potential employer Googled your name and found your social media accounts, what would they see?

This is an important question to ask yourself when you’re applying for jobs. You could have the best resume the interview team has seen, but if you have inappropriate content on your social media accounts, it could mean you lost the job opportunity.

Employers routinely check a candidate’s social media profiles (and anything else that comes up from a Google search) in order to get a good gauge of character. It’s harder to get to know you from a sheet of paper than it is from your Facebook page, and they know that. With that being said, here are a few of the many ways to present yourself and your brand in a way that is professional, but still showcases your personality (because you still want your peers to think you’re cool).

  1. Don’t swear. We all know this can be a challenge, and we’ve all done it at least one time. A curse word every now and then doesn’t hurt as much as you dropping the f-bomb in every status you post. If your future boss scrolls through your profile and all they see is how dirty of a mouth you have, it’ll put a bad taste in theirs. So, keep the swearing down to a very minimum.
  2. Monitor the pictures your friends tag of you. We can’t always control what our friends post on their own pages, so you have to make sure they don’t tag you in anything embarrassing or inappropriate that will show up on yours. It is very easy to un-tag yourself in a picture if you don’t like it. Types of these pictures may include you out the night before taking shots, or the picture that was taken at the very end of the night that you don’t remember. A good rule of thumb? If you don’t remember it, don’t post it. Also, do not post photos that are incriminating and could get you or anyone else in trouble. This seems obvious but we all have that one friend.
  3. Post meaningful content. You don’t want your employer to think you take pictures of yourself and nothing else. Start a conversation, share an enlightening article you read, or just speak your mind on issues that you care about (in a respectful way, of course). This type of content shows you have more to offer than selfies. Now don’t get me wrong, just like a curse word, a selfie every once in a while is not a bad thing. Just post other things along with them so there’s a nice balance.

Next time you start applying for jobs, go through your profiles and ask yourself, “Is this professional?” or  “Would I want my boss seeing this?”.  Social media is blessing, but can be a curse if you don’t brand yourself correctly. So take down your red cup photos and censor yourself from this point on, and you’ll be in good shape.