A Contractor’s Guide to Presenting Yourself on Social Media to Ensure Job Search Success

We all know that social media plays an important role in a job search. But did you know that upwards of 90 percent of companies use social media for recruitment purposes—not just for job postings but also as a tool to learn more about the candidates they are considering for hire? Ultimately, a candidate’s digital presence serves to supplement his/her resume.

At Strategic Solution Partners, working with hiring managers on a daily basis allows us interesting insight into how our clients use social media as a recruiting tool, especially as it pertains to taskforce or contract positions. We wanted to pass along this knowledge to set contractors up for success, while offering tips and tricks for standing apart from the pack.

LinkedIn:

  • Treat your profile as your professional brochure as this is the first impression you will make.
  • Ensure your employment history is up-to-date.
  • Always have a professional head shot taken and be mindful that the image you use represents not only your brand, but SSP’s as well. Best practices:
    • No sunglasses
    • For women, we recommend that makeup be light/neutral, tasteful and that professional dress is maintained.
    • For men, we recommend being clean-shaven or keeping beards and moustaches trimmed; Professional dress is a must (i.e. shirt and tie).
    • Save the vacation selfies for Instagram and Facebook.
  • Be mindful that what you are posting on your profile is appropriate and professional. Posts should be industry-related, reflecting your leadership or management style and a positive work environment. Posts of a personal nature that are not related to your profession do not belong on LinkedIn.
  • Be active in groups that are relevant to the industry. The groups you choose are the best representation of you and your professional career.

Facebook:

  • Set your profile security settings to “private” as a best practice.
  • If you choose to keep your settings as “public” remember that anything you post could be seen by potential employers. So, think before you publish, and always try to maintain professionalism.
  • Clean up your photos, removing anything that might be deemed inappropriate, including negative posts about your previous employer, content about drinking, drugs or illicit activities, and discriminatory remarks would likely be considered a turn-off.
  • Our clients see Facebook and other social platforms as extensions of the person doing the posting, so how you choose to represent your interests and abilities may increase or hinder the possibility of securing assignments or a position. Some tips:
    • Take the time to write, and proof-read, your posts ensuring proper grammar and solid communications skills.
    • Remain positive and show your personality.
    • Don’t be shy about showing off your professional accomplishments.
    • Turn off search engine indexing, as this will help you keep search engines, like Google, from caching photos you may have long forgotten about.

Twitter:

  • If you have previous posts you’re worried about a potential employer finding, protect your tweets so that only your followers can see them.
  • Similar to Facebook, ensure that your posts are free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Share industry news, engage with industry leaders and use hashtags that are popular in your industry.

Instagram:

  • As with Facebook, be mindful of the images you post. It’s okay to show your personality, actually its recommended, but try to steer clear of images that might be seen as inappropriate.

Following these basic rules will send the right message to potential employers—that you are professional, responsible and passionate about what you do.

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