In today’s social-media-centric culture, there is more to your identity than how your conduct yourself in public or what a piece of paper reports about your financial and criminal records. Social media pages in some cases are actually viewed as more honest representations of a person because many people don’t use censorship or discretion when updating them, often posting content that would embarrass or discredit them if seen by the wrong eyes.
Responsible employers now will probably look into a potential employee’s online presence, and use social media sites like Facebook or personal blogs to make final decisions. The good news is that you can use this fact to your advantage.
While it’s understandable to want to post everything that is important, funny, or remarkable to you on a Facebook page, know that what you upload to Facebook might be seen by someone you wouldn’t necessarily want to see it, so conduct your Facebook activity with the same caution and restraint that you would in person.
Your Facebook page can also be blocked to people outside your friends list, so if you just can’t help yourself from posting unprofessional things, make sure to restrict access to your page.
Facebook is one way that a potential employer can try to learn more about you, but Facebook is only one way. Blogging can be a very powerful tool in looking for a job and can speak great volumes about you and your personal life, for better or for worse.
If you maintain a blog, again, be professional. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your potential boss to see – but don’t stop there. Try to establish yourself as an expert and an authority in your field. Connect with people on LinkedIn to build a following, and then write about your passion in an insightful, professional manner that would catch your employer’s attention.
Make sure to blog consistently, and more importantly, to interact with your peers and other enthusiasts. If you don’t have a blog, now would be a great time to start one. Just make sure you follow these guidelines, as well.
All of this will inform your potential employer that you have a great passion for your field, are knowledgeable enough within it to be helpful to others, and that you are a part of a network of professionals with similar interests, which will great increase your chance of getting hired. Remember, who you are online is almost as important as who you are in person, so create an online presence that will dazzle and impress.