STEP THREE: Evaluate Your LinkedIn Presence
LinkedIn is likely your most visible employment-related social media profile, and you should spend some time making sure that it represents you well.
Answer these questions:
- Have you set up your personalized URL for your LinkedIn profile?
- Does your profile picture represent you well?
- Do you have your contact information available on the profile?
(phone number andadditional email addresses)
- Have you included all the languages you speak?
- Are the key projects you’ve worked on including in your profile?
- Have you included all the courses you’ve taken?
- Does your information on LinkedIn match up with your résumé information?
- Review your Groups — are there any “weird” ones in there you should remove?
You also want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile meets the site’s definitions of “profile completeness.”
LinkedIn has its own criteria for “profile completeness,” which has changed somewhat over time. As of April 2015, to be considered “complete” by LinkedIn’s standards, you need these items in your LinkedIn profile:
- Your industry and location
- An up-to- date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- At least three skills
- A profile photo
- At least 50 connections
Having a strong LinkedIn network is also important, so you need to assess the strength of your network. While LinkedIn only requires 50 connections to be “complete,” you need to grow your network beyond this. You should have a minimum of 100 connections; however, the more connections you have, the better LinkedIn will work for you.
STEP FOUR: See If There Are Any Gaps
While it’s not necessary to have accounts on multiple social media platforms, you need to identify if there are any industry-specific or job-specific social media accounts you need to have in order to boost your credibility as a candidate.
For example, if you are a developer, consider an account on GitHub. If you’re a photographer, you definitely need a Flickr and/or Instagram account. If you’re a designer or artist, consider an account on Behance. If you’re a writer, think about signing up for a Tumblr or Medium account.
How do you know what profession-specific social media presence you need? Ask colleagues. Google others in your profession and see what social media platforms they use. Inquire of your professional association contacts. Read industry trade journals and see what apps and websites are mentioned.
STEP FIVE: Assess Your Total Social Media Presence
The final step is to ensure consistency across all your social media profiles. For example, consider using the same professional photo on all your social media accounts (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) so it’s easy for the prospective employer to see that it is your profile.
Go back to Step One and Google yourself again, and continue to do that weekly and see how your results change as you pay more attention to building and maintaining your social media profiles.
If you’d like more information about personal branding and cultivating your profile online, check out these books:
- Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand (William Arruda, Kirsten Dixson)
- Ditch, Dare, Do: 3D Personal Branding for Executives (William Arruda, Deb Dib)