Social Networks That Help You Shine Online

Employers look at your social media and want to see you shine online. According to a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 60% percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. 59% of hiring managers use search engines to research candidates. 

Job candidate social media in the news

With employers searching for qualified candidates and researching applicants, being found in search results is a requirement. Invisibility raises questions. –Forbes

Keep this in mind: over two in five employers say they're less likely to interview people that they're unable to research online. –Business Insider

Why should you care?

The more you shine online, the more desirable you become as a job candidate or employee.

  • Gone are the days when employers trusted your PDF resume or Microsoft Word resume without looking you up online
  • You want to own and control the first page of search results others see when they look for you online
  • Sharing positive content that helps you shine online is the best way to create great search results
  • The more you shine online, the more desirable you become as a job candidate or employee

8 networks that help you shine online

LinkedIn best practices

Create a strong, relevant history on LinkedIn.

  • Create a strong, relevant history on LinkedIn that employers, higher-ups within your company, colleagues and clients can discover and point to as your professional home base online
  • The first line of your job description should include a one-sentence description of what the organization or business does in its industry
  • The second section of your description should include what your role was at the company or organization

Google+ best practices

Google+ will allow you to get discovered in Google’s search results much quicker.

  • Google+ will allow you to get discovered in Google’s search results (and image results) much quicker (since it has an unfair advantage in Google’s algorithm)
  • It’s wise to use a profile photo and bio that is similar to the one you use on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and any other networks you are on so you can easily be discovered online by those that search for you
  • Your Google+ profile should display links to all of your other networks so Google can link them to your “digital identity” and use that info to serve up the most relevant results for those searching for you
  • Consider including your full name in captions that describe photos. This will help to adjust your Google Image results
  • Google loves it when you talk about yourself in the third person (or include your first and last name) because it uses those keywords to adjust your Google ranking

Personal website best practices

Start your own portfolio of accomplishments and update it on a regular basis.

  • Buying your own website is a great way for you to quickly own something online that can eventually help you control the first page of your search results
  • Here you can start your own portfolio of accomplishments and update it on a regular basis
  • Whether it’s athletics, social work, volunteering, etc. you can post photos and videos to your own website so that search engines will put you above other random results
  • Use a domain that includes the spelling of your name that people will search for
  • It’s also smart to buy the misspelling of your name if it’s commonly misspelling
  • Direct traffic from the misspelled domain to the correctly spelled domain
  • Try to add projects, resumes, and volunteer work at least once per month. The more often you share relevant, helpful content, the more likely that search engines will see that your website is dynamic and a useful resource for people who are searching for you

Facebook best practices

Have a Facebook profile even if you think it is outdated.

  • Have a Facebook profile even if you think it is outdated. Managers are still using Facebook to look for you. Employers do have time to look for you online, and you want to use it to stand out in a positive way
  • Use your real name as someone would spell it in an interview
  • If your security settings are set to friends only, or friends of friends only, consider making a select few of your best pictures public so that your profile is the first to be discovered instead of someone else’s by mistake
  • Keep your profile clean by not letting people automatically tag you in photos without your approval
  • Don’t let people automatically check you in online at venues since it may not be somewhere that makes you shine online
  • If you’re trying to impress your employer or clients, you might consider cleaning up any inappropriate photos on Facebook so you can make it public and have many of your volunteer activities and accomplishments displayed on your profile
  • Even if your Facebook is hidden, make sure you are only posting positive content. Anything can be found online (and your well-meaning best friends could always comment on/share something that gets your photos discovered)

Instagram best practices

Create an Instagram username that is easy for search engines to match to your real name.

  • Create a distinct, clear bio on Instagram with a username that is easy for search engines to match to your real name
  • Be very clear about who you are and use the same profile picture that you did for every other site
  • Since Instagram is so widely used, it’s easy for several profiles to come up under your name. Having a uniform picture and clear bio will identify you and minimize the chance you’ll be confused with someone else
  • If you want positive images, volunteer activities, etc. to be discovered by your employer/supervisor/clients, you might consider keeping your Instagram profile public

YouTube best practices

Tie your YouTube account to your Google+ name so you can use one login to control them all.

  • Since YouTube is owned by Google, it is given an unfair advantage in search results. Google knows that people love video, and that’s why videos will usually appear on the first page of search results in a query
  • Tie your YouTube account to your Google+ name so you can use one login to control them all
  • Provide a link in your YouTube profile that links to your Google+ profile so Google can see that you’re starting to weave your online web
  • Don’t flood your YouTube account with videos to entertain your friends. Instead, keep it positive in each video and make sure to add value for those who might watch the video

Gmail best practices

Even if you have a separate work email—take a moment to evaluate your Gmail address.

  • Even if you have a separate work email—take a moment to evaluate your Gmail address. Is it simple, clean and easy for people to remember?
  • Set up an email address with this format: [First name] + [Last name] @gmail.com or [first name] + [middle initial] + [last name]@gmail.com
  • There’s no need to email everyone alerting them that you changed your email address. Look in the settings of Gmail and give it permission to log into your old email account, so it can download any new messages every day to your new account for free

Twitter best practices

If you want to own your first page of Google results, make sure you use your real name on Twitter.

  • Consider creating a clear and concise bio that puts your best foot forward online (without giving away too much personal information)
  • Feel free to put some light humor in the bio so people can see your fun self-shine through
  • If you want to own your first page of Google results, make sure you use your real name and that it is spelled in a similar manner to how you expect your employer or clients to search for you online
  • Twitter is a great place to share some of your most positive Instagram photos that create a portfolio of your accomplishments