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5 tips to win social media when job hunting

- Katie Patterson is the Owner/Founder at Happy Medium.

I might be a bit biased since I own a company that provides social media as a service, but our recommendation would be to make sure your social media presence is combed through as much as your resume! To people doing the hiring, they are one in the same. Here are some suggestions to make sure your social media is helping you in your interview process.

  1. Exist – Again, I might be digitally biased, but if we can’t find you anywhere online we are likely going to ask ourselves why and be slightly concerned if you don’t have any online presence. You don’t need endless selfies or anything but just an indication that you are part of the game.
  2. Pictures – Once we do find your social media profiles, we are going to, of course, look through them to try and get a better feeling of who you are in your everyday life outside of interviews. This would be a good time to consider taking down your profile picture of you chugging a beer at the last Iowa/ISU game. The key to remember here is it’s not that we’re claiming nobody at our office has ever done that. The real issue is this tells us more about your ability to make professional decisions. It’s not that we really care if you chugged a beer, but we do care that you have the capabilities to decide the correct time and place to post.
  3. Privacy – Most social media platforms are relatively easy to set privacy restrictions on. My recommendation would be to base how tight your restrictions are by platform. Your LinkedIn page for example is a great one to make sure is robust with your resume and extra curricular involvement. LinkedIn would be an example of a platform you would not have restricted. You want any potential future employer to be able to find you on LinkedIn and see everything. On Instagram, for example, you could set to restricted if you have more personal photos there. I tend to set my Facebook to some restrictions. People could still find my profile picture and a few basics about me, but would not be able to see my everyday posts.
  4. Relevancy – One benefit to letting some of your social media stay public for the world to see is to show your skill set and involvement with the industry you are applying in. If a potential employer looks at two candidates’ Twitter accounts and sees one is posting industry content frequently, and the other is only tweeting with friends, it may become a factor in the decision making process of who they are going to hire. At Happy Medium, we definitely like to see people involved with our industry on their own accord. It gives us a great indication they have a true passion for this industry, and they aren’t only looking for a “job” they are trying to find their “career”.
  5. Engagement – speaking of being engaging on social media. One of the easiest ways to stand out is to start engaging with the potential company's social media channels. I always love to see a candidate send an application then a few minutes later see them follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. It shows me they are likely going to be an active team member, they are researching us and they are very excited to potentially be a part of our team.

Good luck out there  - if you have any questions tweet me! @_klpatterson.

Katie Patterson is the Owner/Founder of Happy Medium, a full service interactive advertising agency based in Des Moines. Follow her on Twitter - @_klpatterson 

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