At least once a year you should do a quick audit of your social media house and get things in order. It’s not unusual for social media companies to change privacy setting options or the layout of your profile. It’s also possible that your professional messaging has changed since you last updated your social media profiles.
After all, future employer will look at your social media profiles. And the information from your social media could sway their decision.
CareerBuilder found that 44% of HR professionals were positively influenced by information found online about a candidate. The bad news is that 54% HR professionals were compelled not to hire a candidate based on what they discovered online. Even if you aren’t actively searching for a new job, having up-to-date profiles is a smart strategy for your overall career.
Let me give you one more reason to do some digital housekeeping…
The news about Facebook’s handling of your personal information should prompt you to see exactly what information they’ve gathered on you.
So I’ve broken down quick steps to take to clean up your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles and make sure you share the best information about yourself professionally.
On All Social Media Profiles
Refresh this information on all your social media profiles. Especially the ones you are active on.
1. Profile Photo | If you are using the same headshot from years ago, update your profile picture with a current shot. You can use the same one across all your social media accounts for better personal brand recognition.
2. Banner Images | Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to select a banner image at the top of your profile. You can use this image to highlight an achievement, your interests or a special event. Your banner on Facebook may be different from LinkedIn. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network.
3. Bio / About & Summary Sections | Refresh your bio to keep it relevant. Make sure it includes the right keywords? And don’t forget to double-check the link you include to your online portfolio, personal website or LinkedIn profile is still working. You don’t have to use the exact same wording across all your profiles, though you may want to. There should be enough similarities between the different profiles so anyone can tell they all belong to you.
4. Personal Information | Removing unnecessary information from profiles is a big part of digital housekeeping If you’ve included your mailing address, birth date, marital status or other personal information in any publically visible portion of your profile, it might be a good idea to delete it. Keep in mind, your email or phone number may be required to set up your profile. However, if you are actively seeking new job opportunities, you may decide to make your contact information public to make it easy for recruiters to contact you. Check the social network’s privacy settings to make sure you aren’t unwittingly sharing it publicly.
5. Multimedia | In your Summary and Experience sections you can (and should) embed multimedia to provide visual proof you can do what you claim. You can embed MS Office files, a pdf, video or even a link to published work online.
6. Skills | LinkedIn allows you to list 50 skills in your “Skills & Endorsements” section. Add skills you know are in-demand and employers are looking for. Use hard skills or industry knowledge and technical skills. Once you’ve listed them, you want endorsements so email colleagues who know your work and ask for a thumbs up. Better yet, endorse your colleagues’ skills on LinkedIn and perhaps they’ll return the favor!
7. What Facebook Knows | Facebook recently provided you with the option to download your Facebook data. Simply click on the down arrow at the top right of your Facebook screen and click on settings then click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” By reviewing the information Facebook has collected, you can better monitor what you shared. In other words, pay attention to any posts or pages you “like” or places you check-in.
8. Unnecessary Apps | Quizzes are fun, but do they come at a price? You can never be sure how these apps might use your information. To see which apps and websites have access to your data, use the down arrow again and select settings. Choose the apps and websites menu item. This will show all the apps and websites you’ve given access to your Facebook profile. Remove apps you no longer trust or want to access your data.
9. Pin A Tweet | A pinned tweet is the first thing someone sees when they look at your profile. Why not select one of your tweets to be static. What a great way to draw attention to an important event or achievement. The tweet you select could be a link to a recent blog post or it could highlight a positive professional milestone. If you do pin a tweet, be sure you update it fairly regularly as part of your digital housekeeping. A pinned tweet from 2 years ago makes your profile look stale.
10. Lists | To ensure you can easily see the news from key Twitter accounts, create lists to organize the feeds you want to follow and add accounts to the appropriate list. Your lists may be named industry news, local events, or friends. It may also be important companies or other topics you don’t want to miss.
11. Prune | When someone ends up on your Instagram profile, they will see thumbnails of your updates and you want to make sure your collection makes the best first impression. Review your posts and prune any that are irrelevant or a distraction from your personal brand. It’s ok to have a blend of somewhat personal posts and professional post, but make sure you step back and assess the impression you are making.
12. Hashtags | Find new, relevant hashtags directed to the tribe you want to associate with. You can go back and edit older posts to include the most beneficial hashtags. Using the right hashtags can help people find your updates (and profile).
Show you are a savvy digital consumer when you do some digital housekeeping on your social media accounts.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!