Is your social media profile your outlet to grab your fifteen minutes of fame or is it the boat anchor dragging you away from yet another future job opportunity?

Recruiters are using social media to qualify or gauge prospects for their ability to perform.

No more can we spit and polish a resume expecting it to land up a future job when the social media profile makes us look like yesterday’s trash.

When I was, young things were different.

Here we go, you’re thinking, the old I walked 30 miles in five feet of snow speech.

Well yes, kind of.

When I was young resume’s, we called the resume’s not CV’s, was your ticket to getting your foot in the door. Before college, you polished you polished your submission letter and made sure you were in the top percentile of your SAT’s.

After college, you polished your resume until it shined your way into a good position.

In our electronic era, recruiters now realize people are keywording and polishing their resumes only to get in and be a let down to the firm.

So, they’re turning to social media to give them a little more insight into what a person is actually like and how they will perform before offering that enormous salary.

How do you stack up in the social media crowd? Is your profile helping or hurting your chances?

Natalie Zfat sheds some light on how you can make your social media work hard for your next job.

Natalie Zfat’s article for Forbes Magazine, “Are You Treating Social Media Like Your Resume?”, has some great advice to make you stand out from the crowd.

  • Create a social media calendar to make sure you never run out of ideas and always have good content to share. I try to break up my postings by topic and keep rotating and changing them up. Some readers might be interested in one area, but not another. A diversified calendar gives everyone something to read from you at regular intervals.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. Give your readers regular intervals and updates on your wins. Have you hit a milestone or finished a big project, tweet it out? This shows recruiters things getting done and possible breakthroughs.
  • She recommends asking for endorsements or letters of recommendation. Post them on your profile. Nothing speaks louder than what others are saying about you.
  • Keep your content current. Significant gaps in your social media posting could mean downtime in your job. These downtimes could act like gaps in your resume.
  • Once you’ve polished your social channel, don’t be afraid to reach out to people in hiring positions for your dream job. Get on their radar and get connected with them on social media. These connections could put you at the top of the list when something comes up.

I’m going to add a couple more to the mix. Our work world is getting more competitive every day. Positioning yourself ahead of your peers may be your ticket to a slightly larger starting salary or a slightly higher position.

Try thinking or new solutions to old standard problems and write an article about it. You’ll want to position yourself as a thinker, not just a doer. If projects get hectic and they are looking for someone from within to take a leadership role, it will probably be someone who shows they can think for themselves and be a leader. A problem-solving article could put you in this light.

I would also try to differentiate yourself. Don’t be afraid to offer a contrarian point of view as long as you don’t offend anyone and you can back up your position with a good argument. Maybe the argument is the wrong wording here. Maybe dialog would be more appropriate.

The big thing here is to come across as respectful of the other point of view. Too standoffish or opinionated may backfire on you.

Be very careful before you post.

Those drunken midweek escapades may catch up with you.

It wouldn’t be a fair article without some negative thing you should try hard to avoid. Unless you have a significant brand, which I do recommend you start building, your social media will be your calling card.

I would suggest curtailing those drunken mid-week selfies. If you are out parting and whooping it up in the middle of the week, future bosses may start questioning your ability to be at work ready to push at 100% the next morning.

Actions always speak louder than words, and if you are doing these things at your current job, there will be no way of convincing them it won’t happen at your new position.

My suggestion is to clean your profile of the party selfies before you apply for a job. This also goes for people tagging you in the pictures. On Facebook, you can set your wall feed for your approval before posting. Only put the flattering pictures from friends on your wall.

Are those political mudslinging posts doing you more harm than good?

There were two topics my parents taught me to avoid, politics and religion. Even though we all probably have an opinion, I would keep it to myself when you are in the public eye. Political mudslinging is why I locked my news feed down. People would tag me in opinion pieces a post them to my wall for me to own and defend or refute.

I don’t need to do either.

You may be qualified for a position and have the best resume around, but if the hiring manager doesn’t like your view on a topic, you could get disqualified.

Religion and politics are too polarizing and willingly throwing yourself on one side, or the other may be committing professional suicide.

That is …

That is unless you are trying to get involved in a movement or join a political team; then go ahead and sling away.

This may get you the job or internship if you are cleverer than the other memes out there.

My advice is to lock down your Facebook feed and avoid these topics altogether.

Continual mid-day cat videos? Aren’t you supposed to be working?

Hey, I love them. They are cute. The dog videos are pretty good too, but having an endless stream of cute cat escapades when you are supposed to be grinding away should send up a red flag to not only current employers, but future ones as well.

Saving the posting of cute cat videos or fun family photos are great for after hours. They show your human side and prove you are not just a ninja workaholic but like to have fun as well.

I love mixing up my feed with not only cute cat and dog videos, but I like to try and add value to other things in life.

I like posting things like neat song videos, cool cooking demonstrations and links to other educational content. I want people to look at my Facebook feed and come away with a smile or a little smarter because of it.

I look at as it is my responsibility to curate interesting things people want to see. And, I always held off when I had a job for lunchtime or after hours.

Polish all your platforms, Facebook might not be the only one getting eyes.

I would suggest looking at all the major social media platforms and Google yourself as well. Get to know what you look like on the internet and start cleaning it up if it needs it.

You probably know how it works, once people get clicking around on links you never know where they will end up.

Make sure you shine on all of them.

Give yourself a human side though. Like I said in the previous section, don’t be afraid of the cat videos.

But, fill your entire feed with them, top to bottom, you may end up being seen as one of those crazy cat ladies.

That is a little creepy and isn’t the best either.

So, now is the time for action. Start looking at them, evaluating, and cleaning them up or improving them if you need to.

Don’t forget to leave the stuff out which will make peoples blood boil. But, be human and create social media feeds people want to read.

Till next time, be safe.