By: Katie Gerweck
Last month I wrote a post about the number of employers checking social media profiles and the importance of keeping those profiles appropriate as you enter the workforce. From this you may assume that social media is more of a detriment to your employment chances than an advantage. However, when done correctly your profiles can actually reinforce your strength as a candidate. You can use social media to build your personal brand and make yourself more appealing to employers.
Socialmediaexaminer.com lists steps you can take to build your personal brand online, including developing a strong positioning statement and using a consistent look and feel on all platforms. Although this may sound intimidating, it can actually be quite simple. For example, socialmediaexaminer.com says a positioning statement “is a brief summation of who you are, what you do and what you stand for” (source). Simple enough, right? This positioning statement can then be applied across multiple platforms, like your Facebook About Me section and Twitter bio, to form a consistent message. This, along with creating a consistent look across platforms, will give the appearance of uniformity and professionalism.
After establishing this basic understanding of what your brand is, reinforce it with relevant and engaging content. According to inc.com, “Content marketing is the best way to build a brand and reputation online; when people look for information, they tend to go back to sources that were helpful to them. If you can become a trusted source of information through your content, over time you’ll become collectively known as the expert of your specific field” (source). Updating your profiles with informative content, especially on more public profiles like Twitter, will help strengthen your credibility when employers look up your profiles.
This is especially important when employers are using your social media profiles to help verify your skills and qualifications, which 45% do, according to Workopolis.com (source). Consistent, quality content not only builds your brand, but shows that you know how to use social media – and use it effectively. This is especially important in public relations, when employers will expect a basic understanding of common social media platforms. Well-written Tweets and posts also help verify your strong language skills and grasp of proper grammar and punctuation.
Although we use social media to connect with friends, it can also be used to build your personal brand and prove to employers that you have the skills they’re looking for. While keeping your profiles appropriate won’t hurt your chances with potential employers, if you can step up your game and build your personal brand you can actually improve them.
Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA. She was the copy chief for the Eastern Echo during the summer of 2015.