With many employers using social media and conducting Google searches as part of their employee screening process, creating a positive and professional online presence can go a long way in helping students land a job out of school.
However, simply building a professional online appearance is not the only thing students should worry about. Minimizing a negative online presence can be just as important.
Minimizing a negative online presence
- Scrutinize anything personal online, including your posts on Facebook and Twitter.
- Don't post anything you could potentially be embarrassed about -- once it's online it's hard to remove it.
- Screen your friends' postings about you (this can be customized in your account and privacy settings).
- Separate your personal and professional online presence by not linking the two together and privatizing your personal account.
Enhancing a positive online presence
- Create at least one professional online profile (Twitter, Facebook, personal blog or website, LinkedIn, etc).
- Quality over quantity: Just because there are many social networking sites to choose from, doesn't mean you have to be on all of them. Pick one or two and master them.
- Sign up for a LinkedIn profile. For starters, you may want to sign in to CU-Boulder's Career Services LinkedIn Group (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=113018) and the Forever Buffs Alumni/Students group (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=91692).
- Although you don't want to completely privatize your professional profiles (since you want potential employers to see them), make sure you don't put personal addresses, phone numbers and email addresses online unless you don't mind the whole world have access to that information.
- Consistently update your statuses. Social media wont' be useful if you don't make an effort to update your profiles and engage with other people on the social networks.
For more tips on your career search visit CU-Boulder's Careers Services at http://careerservices.colorado.edu/public/.