Why it is Difficult to Make a Professional Social Media Profile

Author: Micah November 18, 2011 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: , ,

Facebook and (formerly) MySpace are all great tools for reconnecting with friends, communicating, and cataloguing your life’s adventures. They are also a great way to not get a job. If an employer gains access to any of your public profiles, that employer is going to see a myriad of unprofessional posts and information that will prevent them from seeing you in a professional light.

This is true for men and women of all ages. While having a profile is fine, allowing anyone access to that profile from your professional life is not.

Keeping Your Profile Professional

We’re not going to go over the millions of unprofessional things you have probably placed on your Facebook or MySpace account. Those mistakes are obvious. But what about the candidates that do their best to keep their profile as professional as possible, so that they can limit the damage the profile does to their job offers?

  • Updates

There are almost no possible status updates or posts that will be seen as professional. You cannot post links to anything political, because the interviewer may not share the same philosophies. Same with religion, the economy, and even the struggles of foreign countries. You don’t know who will be offended. You also cannot complain about the weather, or mention a funny story with your dog – none of these are professional.

  • Wall Posts/Comments

There are several things that are out of your control. If an employer sees your profile, and sees that you have a friend that commented: “OMFG, LOL, dat wuz da shizzle!” on one of your professional posts, suddenly you will be seen as unprofessional for associating yourself with them. In fact, the person that comments on your wall may write something that is completely professional, but if they use poor capitalization or grammar, it can still harm your chances.

  • Photos of Yourself

It’s highly unlikely that in all of your photos you are standing professionally in professional clothes, doing something work related. Chances are you are hiking or going for a walk or at a bar or with friends – all of these, while not “unprofessional” activities, show your personal life. By default, anything in your personal life is not professional.

What’s the Point

You can block your wall, prevent comments, not make any status updates and avoid putting any photos on your Facebook – but then why even bother having one?

Unless you have a way of doing it effectively, like a fan page for your business, don’t try to create your own social media profile and use it professionally. It rarely works. Instead, keep your personal profiles blocked from the public, do your best to make them almost impossible to find or access, and delete anything that’s blatantly inappropriate in the off chance they somehow find a way to access it. The only people that should be able to see your profile are your friends, no one else.

Take Away Tips

  • Don’t try to create a public professional social media profile on Facebook.

What Your Online Persona Says About You

Once something is online, it is always online. It bounces from server to server. It gets downloaded and re-uploaded. It gets backed up, cached, stored, and reformatted.  It’s everywhere and it will always be everywhere.

So when you use your name for anything, anywhere online it can potentially show up in a search. Your Internet presence is just that – a presence. If it’s associated with your name in any way, someone can find it and use it against you.

How Your Online Persona Works

If someone had access to everything you do online they would probably find several examples of the following:

  • Facebook Wall Posts – “HAHAH, We TOTALLY got w8sted last nite, lol.”
  • Twitter – “LOL Wut?! RT @OzzieGuillen Happy fathers day to all then look up for the childrens no a fake one”
  • iLike Music – Now Playing: ‘Suga Suga’ by Baby Bash – “Treat you like my sticky ickey or my sweet oowy goowy (fa real though)”

There are countless more examples of this that you create every day when you are online. While most of these do not appear in search engines, some of it does, and what does appear could easily prevent you from finding a job. It may be unfair, but employers are going to find some of these examples, and they are going to see you as something other than a professional.

Before You Send in Your Resume – Find Your Online Presence

With that in mind, before you even begin your job search, you should search for your name online and see what your online presence is like. Chances are you have several things showing up that you would prefer employers not see. Start deleting. Email webmasters, block or delete profiles – do whatever it takes to clean up your online persona. Make sure that everything that comes up is professional. Assume that every employer searches for you on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Doing so drastically reduces your chances of being seen unprofessionally online.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Prepare your online presence.

Why You Should Not Add Your Coworkers on Facebook

Author: Micah June 2, 2011 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: , ,

Be careful what you put online. Once it’s there, you can never take it back. As long as you are careful, your Internet presence should not affect your employment chances, but if you are not careful, you set yourself up for getting into trouble.

One error that a lot of people make is adding their bosses and/or coworkers on Facebook. In the beginning it may seem harmless. It may even seem like a good idea, as a way of reaching out to the people you work with and showing them a sign of friendship.

However, once they have access to your Facebook profile, anything you do online is visible to them. Take the following example from Failbook.com (Link contains some foul language). The employee whose name is blacked out decided to make fun of their boss on Facebook, and their boss noticed, and they were immediately fired. Examples like this happen all the time.

Problems with Adding a Boss on Facebook

  • Foot in Mouth

Be it from anger or drinking or simply because you forgot they were added, you never know when the temptation to say something about your workplace is so strong that you accidentally say something negative about the employer or a coworker. Even if the person you are dissing does not have access to your Facebook, another employee might, and if they are particularly close to the individual they may show them your post. You can be fired for that type of behavior.

  • Update, Update, Update

When you make an update on Facebook, the update is time stamped. What happens if you make an update at 2:00 PM, when you are supposed to be working hard on a project with a short deadline? What happens if you missed that deadline and the employer sees that you were on Facebook? What happens if you are tagged in an album and your employer accidentally thinks that you were the one that posted the photo, even though you were not?

  • Not Everything is in Your Control

You can control your status updates and the photos you post, but not everything is under your control on Facebook. You cannot control what people post on your wall or what they tag you in. What if you had a private conversation about your boss with a friend, and they post on your wall “Hope you are having fun at work, dealing with your perverted, ugly boss!” They may think they are being supportive, but you added your boss, and now they know what you think about them.

  • Sorry, I’m Sick Today

You called in sick on Monday. On Monday night, you were tagged in an album called “Crazy Drunk Sunday” where there is a photo of you downing a fifth of Bacardi 151. You’re in some trouble.

It may seem like a good idea at the time, but adding any of your bosses or even your coworkers on Facebook can have some dire consequences. If you must add them, put them on a severely limited profile and watch what you visibly post.

Take Away Tips

  • Don’t add your coworkers or bosses.

How to Fix Your Online Identity

Author: Micah December 23, 2010 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: ,

A few days ago, we discussed how interviewers prepare for your job interview. Part of their preparation involves trying to find out as much about you as they can before the job interview so that they can find interesting things to ask you. In general, their intentions are fairly innocent (usually), and all they are really looking for is an idea of who you are professionally.

What they find can be anything. They can find your personal blog. They can find your MySpace account. They can find your ex’s embarrassing photos of you they put up on a website to discredit your innocent name. They can find pretty much anything as long as it shows up under a search of your name. That is why before your job interview, you need to search for your name on all types of search engines (with and without quotation marks), see what comes up, and judge whether or not you are okay with what interviewers will see before they interview you.

If you are not (and most people are not), here are several ways to create a better Internet presence.

5 Ways to Fix Your Online Presence

  • Fix Your Social Media Profiles – We’ve discussed this a few times already, but by blocking/changing/deleting your social media profiles, you drastically reduce your online presence.
  • Join LinkedIn (and Others) – There are some social media websites that are perfectly acceptable for business professionals, like LinkedIn. Join those instead and make sure they are designed to impress employers.
  • Delete Things that can Be Deleted – If your friend used a full name on a website of theirs, ask if you can get your name deleted. Your friends will usually comply. Some webmasters are willing to delete things for you as well.
  • Develop a Professional Presence – Create a professional website with your full name and market it a little. Have it put your best face forward, with sample work and documents that prove you are a great employee.
  • Join Groups that Make Membership Public – By signing up for professional groups that have public membership listings, you can show up in searches that show dedication to the field. Be careful, however, to only join groups that you will always be proud to join. It can be hard to get your name off a list once it is on the list.

With enough work, you can take control of your online identity again and ensure employers don’t hold anything against you before you have even been interviewed. You may want to get started now, however, because fixing your online identity can take quite a bit of time.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Prepare your online persona before your interview.

Additional Links

Twitter is the Best Friend of the Unemployed

Author: Micah October 19, 2010 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: , ,

When you are unemployed, you need to do whatever it takes to find a job. You cannot limit yourself to well-known job websites, because those websites are going to be attacked by everyone looking for a job. You need to also find jobs that are more specialized, jobs from companies you like, and other openings that you may not hear about elsewhere.

Jobs on Twitter

Tweets are no longer just for birds. Twitter is the land of the “instant update.” News reporters use it to break the news before they have time to write an article. Justin Bieber stalkers use it to scream every time they win a lock of his hair on eBay. Employers use it to advertise a recently opened job.

It’s the latter that is clearly the most useful for you. Twitter has a variety of uses for unemployed workers that may turn it into your new best friend.

How to Use Twitter to Find a Job

  • Follow Employers – Many employers have official Twitter accounts where they will advertise recent product releases, news and, of course, new jobs. It may not be that useful to follow major businesses like Microsoft, but smaller businesses will have fewer competitors giving you the immediate edge.
  • Professionally Tweet – One good idea is to start a professional Twitter account where all of your Tweets relate to the types of jobs you are hoping to find. Personal Twitter accounts are nice, but don’t create the “I’ll be a great employee” impression you are hoping for.
  • Network – Twitter is a great way to network with businesses, workers, etc. Expand your followers and over time you will develop connections that may help you find work.

There are clearly a lot of ways that you can use Twitter to find work. Add your resume to your profile and suddenly you are applying to anyone that reads your account. Just because it’s a strange addition to Web 2.0 does not mean you should overlook it. It may be your best tool for finding work in today’s economy.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Use Twitter.
  • Seriously, use Twitter.

Additional Links

How to Promote Yourself on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most commonly used social networking tools on the Internet. It is one of the only websites that business professionals can use to link to other business professionals without the unprofessional features of websites like Facebook and MySpace. LinkedIn is single handedly changing the way people network.

Of course, the point of a network is to improve your business opportunities. If you are looking for a job, it is time to put that network into use. How do you utilize your network on LinkedIn in order to find employment?

LinkedIn Job Search Tips

According to an article from the self-proclaimed “LinkedIn Speaker,” you should perform the following actions immediately:

  • Add “Looking” Into Your Headline – This allows your network to know you are interested in finding new employment, so that they can contact you if they believe you have skills that meet their needs.
  • Add a Marketing Phrase to Your Headline – Basically, make your headline something that markets your abilities and grabs attention, rather than some basic like “Graphic Designer.”
  • Participate in the QA – Participate anywhere on LinkedIn and you could potentially find someone that requires your expertise. It is a great way to get yourself noticed by people that have evidence that you understand the subject matter simply because you were able to answer questions effectively.

These are all useful tips. You should also prepare your LinkedIn to read like a resume for the type of job you are hoping to land. Also, don’t be afraid to contact your network about any job opportunities or see about getting an introduction to someone inside a company that may need someone just like you. That is the purpose of having a network – to help you find job opportunities and expand your professional reach. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Change your headline.
  • Answer questions in the QA.
  • Use your network.

Read Also

Can I Text Message the Interviewer a Thank You or Add Them as a Friend on Facebook?

Technology is a wonderful thing. Computers allow you to perform complicated actions at a moment’s notice. Mp3 players allow you to listen to an unlimited amount of music on the go. If you want to teleport to another dimension, there’s probably an app for that.

However, the one problem with technology is that those that use it often mistakenly believe that everyone deems every aspect of it acceptable. That is not the case, and one of the main places you will see technology rear its ugly head is during a job interview.

Don’t Overuse Technology

Current college seniors have had the Internet, cell phones, and various high tech pieces of technology throughout the majority of their lives. They have been inexpensive and publicly accessible since these seniors were old enough to use it. It is part of their culture – a culture that doesn’t remember when the only computer colors were grayish sepia and white, and when using an ink printer involved a loud screeching noise and 20 minutes of your life per page.

If you are a recent graduate that has completed a job interview, it is important to remember that just because a technology is widely used, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. Here are some examples of real things applicants have done after job interviews:

  • Added their Interviewers on Facebook – Some young workers have thought it was appropriate to add those they met at the interview on Facebook immediately after the interview was over. Don’t. You are not “friends” and your interviewer does not want to see a tagged photo of you giving the finger and smoking from a Hookah.
  • Text Messaging a Thank You – Believe it or not, some applicants believed it was appropriate to text message their thank you to the interviewers. “Thx 4 the Ntrvu” is going to guarantee you don’t get a call back.

Text messaging and social media are all great tools, but they are great tools for your personal life, not your corporate life. You can fill your personal life with as much technology as you please. At the job interview, only use traditional methods.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Don’t text message your interviewers.
  • Don’t add your interviewers on Facebook.
  • Don’t overuse technology.

Additional Links

Social Media Jobs and a Clever Way to Get Them

Author: Micah June 3, 2010 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: , ,

Though it may seem as though it has existed for decades, social media websites have only been around for the last decade or so, and they did not truly take off until Facebook became open to the public in September of 2006. Since then, social media websites have exploded in popularity, and almost everyone in the country has a Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or LinkedIn account.

Facebook was not the first (MySpace, Friendster and others had long since established themselves online), and it will certainly not be the last, but once it became popular it was clear that the way people used the Internet had drastically changed.

The Creation of New Jobs

One of the ways that these website changed the world is through the invention of social media jobs. Individuals are not the only things that can have a social media presence. Businesses and websites around the globe are trying hard to create a social media presence in order to improve the health of their business. By creating a social media presence, companies are able to:

  • Improve Rapport
  • Improve Branding
  • Improve SEO

All of these help to increase their potential revenue. In addition, all of these services are essentially free, or close to free, and can take off completely on their own without the aid of advertising revenue.

However, for the company to utilize these services, it must have that social media presence, and social media requires constant updates, changes and interaction (hence the word social). So many businesses have started to employ “Social Media Managers” – individuals whose only job is to generate and maintain a presence in online media.

For young men and women about to enter the workplace, this represents a great opportunity. Throughout your high school and college years, you participated in social media programs. They are as natural to you as any sport or hobby. Why not make a job out of them?

Job Search Thought – New Way to Find Jobs

If you are looking for a job working as a social media manager or social media specialist, do not limit yourself to the jobs that are posted on career boards. Take initiative. Find businesses in your area that lack a social media presence. Email these businesses and ask them if they would be interested in creating a position for managing social media profiles, then submit your qualifications for that position.

In order for this to work effectively, you must be able to do the following:

  • Get in touch with the marketing department.
  • Display knowledge of their current online presence.
  • Suggest ways to improve their online social media presence.
  • Write up a job description yourself, and explain how you will perform your daily tasks.
  • Supply them with an estimate on how easily this will improve their business and why.

Companies are always looking for a competitive edge, and social media supplies these companies with that edge. By utilizing the tips above, you can use your own social media expertise to create a job for you at a company that could use your skills and experiences.

Finding jobs is not only about looking for help wanted signs and job search boards. It is also about getting out there and creating opportunities for yourself. Social media services like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are beneficial for any business. Show companies that you can improve their business by managing a social media profile and you may find yourself creating a job that you love.

Take Away Tips

  • There are other ways to find employment besides looking at job search websites.
  • Social media represents a potential career path with great pay and fun tasks.
  • Email employers and suggest how you can help them improve their online marketing presence.

How to Prepare LinkedIn for Your Interview

Author: Micah May 4, 2010 Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: ,

A few weeks ago we discussed why social media profiles have the potential to damage your job interviews. Websites like Facebook and MySpace are often riddled with things that can cause you to appear unprofessional, and more than once these social networks have damaged an applicant’s ability to get a job.

This isn’t entirely fair to social networks. Some websites are designed to be used by business professionals. These websites will actually improve your chances of being selected for an interview. One of the best examples is a website known as LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com).

Preparing LinkedIn for an Interview

LinkedIn is a social network designed for business professionals. When you are starting your career, it is a good idea to open a LinkedIn account to keep track of your professional network. Add the business professionals you have connected with over the course of your life so that you can use them when it comes to finding a job.

Once you have a LinkedIn account, you can use it to prepare for your interview. Here are a variety of ways to use LinkedIn in order to improve your job interview success:

  • See If You Know Current Employees – You can use LinkedIn to see if there are any current or former employees of the company. This will allow you to drop names and information during your interview that will help improve your success rate.
  • Connect with People Inside the Company – LinkedIn acts as a tool that you can use to network with others. Clicking on the “Request Introduction” link will allow LinkedIn to connect you with employees at the company. Do not overdo it, however, because you do not want to network with someone you have not met that you will meet on your interview. They will know that the introduction was made solely for your interview chances. You should also check to see if there is an employee within the company that you have met but have not yet connected to that you can add to your network.
  • Prepare Your Work History – You want people to find you on LinkedIn, since it is used so often as a professional network. Prepare your LinkedIn profile as you would your resume. Add the jobs that speak highly of your competency, and remove any previous jobs that will not help you with the interview.

Most social media websites are harmful to your job interview chances. LinkedIn, however, is a professional business network that can actually improve your chances of getting a job when used correctly. Keep your LinkedIn account clean and up to date, and always look to expand your network so that you can put yourself in the best position for the job interview.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Use LinkedIn during your job search and before your job interview.
  • Connect with business professionals you have met.
  • Prepare your profile as you would a resume before the job interview.

How to Prepare a Blog That May Help Your Interview & Job Chances

Author: Micah April 27, 2010 Job Interview Tips, Social Media No Comments Tags: Tags: ,

In our last post, we discussed why blogs should not be brought up at job interviews, in cover letters, or in resumes. There are simply too many ways that blogs can harm your chances of getting the job. If your blog has:

  • A single unprofessional post.
  • A single post on an unrelated topic.
  • Very little unique or interesting information.
  • Ads or banners.
  • Bugs, glitches or otherwise poor design elements.

Then your blog is not ready to be brought up at a job interview, because it will not help your chances of getting the job. Employers are only interested in seeing that you are professional and qualified for the role. Imperfect blogs are simply not going to win over any employer.

Make Your Blog Perfect

However, you can create a website that does help your chances of landing the job. You simply need to conform to all of the standards of a high quality blog. Here are guidelines for writing a blog that will help your job interview chances.

  • Always Remain Professional – From your first post to your last post, every post you make should be completely professional. You can throw in a few light jokes here and there, but there should be no swearing, proper grammar, no chat language (LOL, BRB, etc.), no emoticons, and as few spelling errors as you can manage. Your blog should be kept professional at all times.
  • Remain On Topic – Nearly every post you make should be about the field you are hoping to break into. That means that if you have a blog about teaching, every post should be about teaching. You can create the rare occasional post wishing happy birthday to a family member, but always asks yourself if the post will still be seen as professional and if 100% of all interviewers. If the post could harm your chances at all, with anyone, don’t do it.
  • Spend Time Writing Quality, Interesting Posts – This is extremely important. Dedication to a field is nice, but employers want to know that you have ideas and that you are not simply rehashing topics that everyone knows. Take your time coming up with interesting ideas for posts that will help you stand out as a unique, intelligent and creative candidate.
  • Moderate Comments – Don’t let a terrible commenter or aggressive spammer cause your blog to look less professional. Moderate comments and only post comments that are equally as interesting as your post.
  • Spend Time on the Design – Your blog should be free of ads and have no major glitches. Remember that a website that looks unattractive is going to naturally feel unprofessional, no matter how much work goes into its writing.

We at Everyday Interview Tips want to caution that writing a blog that meets all of these guidelines can be quite difficult. You must put a lot of effort into writing each post for no immediate monetary gain.

Still, starting a blog that is specifically designed to earn you a job someday can be a great tool to use in the future. As long as you are willing to dedicate yourself to its success, you may find that the blog is your key to winning the job over your competition.

Take Away Tips

  • Starting a blog that will help you win a job is difficult.
  • Write only professional posts.
  • Keep all posts on topic.
  • Take your time coming up with interesting posts instead of hurrying boring posts.
  • Moderate comments and take your time designing a decent website.