Recently a friend asked, how does a recent college graduate create a brand around their name? Most of these recent graduates are heavily involved in social media and while HR rules prohibit searching these sites as background checks it is being done.
A recent article by Dave Allen at North shows that HR staff is clearly looking at social media sites for background checks on prospects.
- 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals report that their companies require them to do online research about candidates
- 70 percent of U.S. recruiters report that they have rejected candidates because of information found online
- They scour search engines, social-networking sites, photo- and video-sharing sites, personal Web sites and blogs, Twitter and online-gaming sites
- Web sites like LOL Facebook Moments, collect and share embarrassing personal revelations from Facebook users
So what are some rules to follow to ensure that your personal brand stays intact?
- Do not become friends with your boss or coworkers on Facebook. Facebook is intended as a social platform; do not mix the lines up between your personal life and professional life. Once you have left your job, if you are in good terms you can “friend” your old boss and coworkers but those connections are best for LinkedIn (more to come).
- Do not post every thought you have about your job or coworkers on Twitter. Twitter is an open platform and anyone can follow you (including your boss or potential boss). Twitter can be a great tool helping you get that dream job but you must use if effectively (more to come in the Do section).
- Do not have an open profile on Facebook, the less information you provide for crawlers, web bots, and search engines the better it will be for your professional profile.
- Do connect to your boss and coworkers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional site that will help grow your career. Join groups that are in the field that you work in or are interested in working.
- Do use Twitter to discuss subject matters that are important or interesting to you. If you keep the subject matter to the field that you are working, it will benefit your profile even more. For example, if you are in marketing talk about the recent changes to the field, or studies that have come out.
- Do create a blog with your name to provide your commentary about a subject matter. The articles need not be long, but you should discuss a recent news event and how you think they relate to the subject matter.
- Do create a profile on Meetup, it is a great site to join people who have the same interest around your geographical area. You can attend meetups that are of interest to your subject matter. If one does not exist, you should create one; it will show great leadership on your behalf.
In the end, it is up to you to present a professional front on social media sites and create a brand that will ensure your success in the field you are interested in working.