Putting Your Best Foot Forward in Social Media

In March, AP News reported that some private and public agencies around the country are asking job seekers for their social media passwords in job interviews.  What would an employer think about you while reviewing social media profile?

Catherine Neset, an instructor in the paralegal and graduate programs at Globe University, has some tips for students who want to make their online profile attractive to potential employers.

“Like” Changes – Live in the Moment, Not the Past

How many of you are still interested in the same things that excited you in grade school?  Very few.  As we age, our interests, goals and friendships mature as well.  Reflect this in your social media profile.  Employers look at social media, and seek people with professional profiles, according to SocialTimes.com.  That drunken spring break picture of you was fun to share with your friends, but now you need a professional image.  Place the picture in a “private” section of your profile, or remove it altogether.  Actively update your profile to reflect your current interests and pursuits to give an accurate picture to recruiters.  Employers appreciate your attention to a professional image, and know that it indicates quality job performance. 

Re-evaluate your “Friends” 

Everyone has “fringy” friends.  The kind with hundreds of piercings, or inflammatory blog postings, or suspicious personal pursuits.  It is OK to have those friends, just keep your associations on your private page.  Create a non-descriptive web-persona to follow those friends, and keep your name free from controversy.  Yet, some friends are too “fringy”. Living means changing, and that means forming new friendships, and perhaps discarding others, says Earl Nightengale.  Because we all change and mature, it is also OK to remove those friends from your in-person and online network. 

“Pin” what you own

A picture is worth a thousand words, and sparks interest on your social media pages.  Before you upload it – make sure you own it.  Copyright issues are huge ethical flags for employers.  If you are willing to steal an image to promote yourself online, how will you look as a job candidate?  Be creative.  Spend time editing your own photos to look smashing, and employers will see your tech skills.