It surely doesn’t come as a surprise to you, that more and more companies do their research on social media when it comes to recruiting new potential employees. So what does that mean to you? Frankly, that your next job could depend on what a recruiter finds on your social media profiles and the online footprints you’ve left behind.

Let me tell you a real-life story that happened recently.

A couple of months ago I received a long email from someone, who was very frustrated because of the situation she was in: Frustrated because she felt she did all she could to land a job within the field that she considered as her dream field. Nothing came from the hard work she was doing, meeting people within her field and applying for jobs.  After reading the email I did, what I think most people would do… I went to Google to find out more about who this person was. I didn’t have to click very far before I began to understand why she might have a really hard time getting a job within the field she dreamt of.

Page one!

While her LinkedIn profile appeared in the top 3 of my search, the other things that showed didn’t seem very flattering. Let’s just say she had left footprints and comments in forums, on Facebook and other sites, which were very explicit in the language she was using, written in all CAPITAL LETTERS and on topics that had to do with the field she wanted to work in.

Your name in the spotlight

When was the last time you tried to Google yourself?

If you haven’t done so lately, then I dare you to do it now, or preferably wait a few minutes and do it when you’ve read the rest of this. But when you do, think about what shows up for the world to see and read about you.

Would a future employer think ‘WOW’ in the face of what they find, or would it be something that doesn’t do you any good? It doesn’t have to be as bad as the case I described. Finding nothing at all can also be a negative.

As you can imagine, you leave a lot of online footprints when you are active on social media platforms and in general, just being on online. Everything you do builds your online brand and the perception people get of you. You’ll get my ultimate tip on how you get that WOW reaction, in one of my articles to come.

Are your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social profiles open books for everyone to dive into and lurk around in to find the latest selfies from the night out? Make sure that the content and pictures you share on Facebook only will be accessible to your friends and not everyone else.

If you’ve commented on Facebook posts, blogs or in other forums, it might be something that could have an effect on your future career opportunities. In that case, you can always write the webmaster, or the owner a blog, and ask them to delete your comment.

Your professional profile and network

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, then it’s about time you get on there, set up a profile and begin the process of building your professional network. It’ll serve you in a great way if you do it now while you’re still studying because by the time you’re finished you’ll have connections within the field you’re looking to enter.

Make sure your CV/Resume is up to date and that your strengths shine through. Use your value proposition, brand slogan, and your taglines that you might have worked on based on my last article. Using those will help your personality, goals, values, and strengths shine through on your profile, and make it more likely that recruiters and headhunters will find your profile in searches.

Use your profile headers

On Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter you can customise your own profile headers to catch the visitors attention. Why not make a profile header on Twitter that illustrates what you’re all about and what you want to achieve? Why not do it on Facebook and LinkedIn too?

You could either write your career mission statement or your personal brand slogan and put that in your profile header. You could also make a header that includes your strengths and/or the industry you are looking to enter. In other words, use your profile headers to help you stand out.

The profile headers are just another “billboard" you can use to build your career brand.

Download a quick guide with inspiration on how to make your own social media profile headers, including the different header sizes.

Make sure all your social profiles signals the same message and that it’s the same name you use, at least on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Periscope. Since all these are great places to network, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you and connect.


Read on: Part 4 - Be a Go-Giver instead of a Go-Getter


Our guest blogger Niels Reib is a mentor, speaker and Career Branding specialist who helps career driven students and professionals attract fulfilling careers where they can unleash their full potential. In cooperation with Graduateland, Niels offers special counseling session for students and graduates to kick off their career - including optimizing your LinkedIn profile, creating a strong online presence and taking complete ownership of your career brand.