Tricks of the Social Media Trade: Show Your Future Employer You’re Legit

Tricks of the Social Media Trade: Show Your Future Employer You’re Legit

David Chen

These days, it’s not just about what you post online, but where. In fact, according to a recent study, 37% of employers check your social media accounts when making hiring decisions.


You may think simply avoiding having an online presence is the key, but many hiring managers may not consider you if they can’t find you. Instead of hiding, here are some tips to help you enhance your résumé (or ditch it altogether) with a proper Web presence.

1. Not All Social Media Is Created Equal

The reason the “Big Four” are so dominant in the social media realm is because they each provide insight into a certain aspect of who you are: LinkedIn shows who you are professionally, while Facebook provides glimpses of your personality (both of which are important qualities).

Twitter is a snapshot of what you occupy your free time with, and Google+ shows just how Web-savvy you really are. As a general rule, act on LinkedIn as you would when greeting a client, on Twitter as you would in an airport or restaurant and on Facebook as you would in the park with your family.

2. If You Build Your Own Website, They Will Come

Fifty-six percent of all hiring managers would rather see your personal website over any other branding tool. Social is easy, and anyone can contribute content. A website, on the other hand, shows your dedication and attention to detail — even if you’re using a template.

3. Join Specialized Portfolio Sites and Marketplaces

Depending on your industry, there are a handful of other social networks you should consider joining if you really want to stand out. Each creative or technical art has a specific social media portfolio site that’s viewed as the premiere place to showcase your talents.

  • For designers: Dribbble is selective about who it allows to build a profile, so just having a profile up says something about the quality of your work. Take advantage of this network of in-demand designers by engaging with other users.
  • For developers: GitHub is the place to showcase your involvement in the social coding movement. Not only does it demonstrate the quality of your code, but it also shows potential employers that you can work on a team.
  • For photographers: Shutterstock is a great place to license your photos and vector graphics and make money while highlighting your work.
  • For freelancers: If you’re a writer, programmer or freelance consultant, you should set up a profile on oDesk, Elance and also recently launched its Part-Time and Temporary Network. These are online marketplaces where you can sell your services (and where potential employers are looking).

4. Apply Yourself

When you’re looking for a job, you can’t control where your potential employer is looking, so it’s best to have a solid presence on any networks that are appropriate for your industry. When you update your résumé, be sure to update your LinkedIn account and profile for any job search site you may use. This will ensure potential employers always see your most recent skills and accomplishments.

The Internet can be a scary place. For every Philip DeFranco blowing up YouTube, there’s a Justine Sacco fired over a tweet.

The difference between the two is that Philly D understood how to properly manage and market his Internet presence. Potential employers are searching you online, whether you like it or not. What they see is up to you, so show employers you’re legit with a Web presence that says it for you.

David Chen is the founder and CEO of Strikingly, a platform that helps anyone set up a beautiful landing page in just minutes. Connect with David on Twitter or Google+ or find Strikingly on Facebook.

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