From sharing adorable dog pictures on Facebook to posting for a friend’s birthday on Instagram, it seems as though everyone uses at least one form of social media to mark life’s important moments. With privacy settings, it’s simple to keep these posts from reaching anyone outside of your select friend group. Some people even go out of their way to protect their privacy by replacing their last name with their middle name, or even using a different name on their pages. While these measures are beneficial when protecting one’s privacy, it can lead to a smaller online footprint, limiting what future employers learn about us.
With almost 450 million users, almost all professionals have a LinkedIn page and some even have personal web pages decked out with their resumes and lengthy portfolios. So the question is, how do we stand out amongst the myriad of candidates online without sharing too much? Create a professional profile!
Why are professional social media profiles important?
- Professional profiles provide a more indepth description of your career, improving your digital presence and serving as your online portfolio.
- Companies will inevitably look for your social media profiles. In having a strong professional one, you are offering a better representation of how you fit within your industry and how you would represent a company.
- They give insight as to how you communicate, answering the questions:
- How do you write?
- Can you have honest conversations online?
- Can you make a point without offending others?
- They are a great resource for reading and sharing industry news.
- They allow you to stay in touch with past and present colleagues.
What personal information is appropriate to share?
- If you do not want your boss to see it, do not post it. Bottom line.
- Share information that you would typically put on your resume.
- The general area you are from, but not your address. You should never give out personal information online.
- You can decide if you are comfortable sharing your email and phone number.
- Use professional images of yourself. They can be headshots or pictures of you at trade shows or work events. Stay far away of pictures where you are drinking or wearing clothing that may not be suitable for work.
Do you add friends and family to your professional profiles?
- This decision is entirely up to you, so go with your gut. If you decide to add them, make sure that they are aware that this is a professional profile intended for career purposes only.
- If you do add friends and family, adjust your privacy settings regarding tagged photos. You never know who may slip up and tag you in something that you would rather not have on your professional page.
- Make sure your privacy setting is set to “request your approval prior to adding photo to your profile.”
- Remember that your profiles should not be set to private.
- You want the pages to be easily accessible to future bosses,colleagues, and/or clients.
What type of content do you post on a professional profile?
- Stick to news.
- Anything related to your industry or the world is appropriate.
- Avoid posting anything political.
- Professional development is also always good to share, whether you were recently certified in something, finished a course, or wrote a blog.
How often should you post?
- It really depends on the platform and the content you are sharing.
- Facebook should be no more than once a day.
- Twitter can range, as the lifespan of a tweet is rather short.
- Always remember quality is better than quantity.
- Be sure you post enough to have a presence and stay relevant.
- If you’re using your account to build authority and leadership in your industry, posting daily or every other day is advised.
A professional profile helps to build your presence in your industry and provides others with a glimpse of your work and what interests you. It is important to remember the separation of work life and personal life, and to draw that line in your profiles.
Do you have any thoughts on professional profiles? Share them with us in the comments below!