More often than not these days, potential employers will take a look at a prospect’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media profiles. If you’re on the job hunt, you’ve got to make sure you look good not just in an interview, but online, too.
While Facebook is likely the first place a future employer will look you up, don’t think they won’t do all the digging they can do. They want to know if you have any deep and dirty secrets that would disqualify you from the position you’ve applied for, and Twitter isn’t really a secret anymore. The net-savvy employer will try to find you on Twitter, so you’d better be prepared to meet him or her there with confidence.
There are a few areas of your Twitter profile that you will want to spruce up before you hit the pavement looking for a job.
First, take a look at your profile picture. This one is an instant deal breaker if it doesn’t present at least a somewhat professional version of yourself. If you’re showing too much skin or doing a kegstand, you’d best change your pic right away.
Your profile picture should, in most cases, be a headshot of yourself looking good. Smile, wear something professional (a collared shirt never hurt anyone) and snap a quick pic to replace that one of you and your buddies doing a tequila shot. Future employers will judge you based on your profile picture, so double check that it’s not something that might appear in a tabloid one day if you’re ever in the limelight.
Next, examine your Twitter bio. This is an important area for branding, and if used correctly you can gain followers and increase engagement. But if used incorrectly, you could lose that job you’ve been asked in for a second interview for.
You have 160 characters to make a good impression in your Twitter bio, so use them wisely. It’s best to stick to describing why you’re on Twitter, what you’ll be tweeting about most often, and the value you will give your followers. However, if what you’re going to be tweeting about most often is just how “slizzered” you got last night, you might want to re-think your tweeting strategy altogether. Or at least make your account private.
Future employers will also be reading a few of your latest tweets, so it doesn’t hurt to clean up your timeline a bit, too. If you use foul language or make unorthodox observations on a regular basis, you might want to consider toning it down for a time, until after you’ve landed your dream job. Employers likely won’t go through your entire timeline, so just mellowing out your current tweets should be good enough.
Twitter is ultimately about authenticity, so don’t go overboard revamping your image into something you’re not. However, do keep in mind that whatever you put out there can be seen by the man or woman in charge of hiring you.