Employers nowadays are very particular about the people they choose to hire. More often than not, they prefer to generate background reports on candidates to help them make intelligent hiring decisions. In many cases, they check the candidate’s social media profiles as well, as a person’s online activities and social media presence can help employers see beyond what the candidate has written on their resume or what they chose to disclose during their interview.

This is why it’s important to create a strong social media profile that is highly professional in order to make a good impression on prospective employers.

Here are five tips to help you achieve a more professional social media presence:

1) Choose a professional-looking profile photo

Prospective employers can easily make snap judgments about you based solely on your profile photos, so choose one that makes you appear respectable and professional relative to the job for which you’re applying. If possible, enlist the help of a photographer so you can create the perfect profile photo that shows off your personality while still conveying the professionalism you want to project.

Also, refrain from editing your photos too much or adding too many filters. If you decide to edit your photos, try to keep the enhancements to a minimum.

2) Clean up bad or questionable content

Everything you ever posted on social media, even something from over a decade ago, is a reflection of your character. Therefore, if you have drunken photos, offensive tweets, or any posts wherein you complained about a former boss or made discriminatory comments about race, gender, or religion, make sure to delete them from your profiles (or set them to private) as soon as you can. Doing so will help preserve your image and make you a more viable candidate for the position.

3) Create a concise but comprehensive bio

One of the most underutilized parts of one’s social media account is usually the bio section. To appear more professional, maximize this critical section of your profile by creating a well-written blurb or short bio that highlights your personality, your hobbies, your interests, and your personal and professional accomplishments.

Certain social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide you with fields where you can write about your educational and work background. Make sure the information is accurate and aligned with the information you provided within your application, as employers may also use social media sites to verify the accuracy and truthfulness of your resume and any statements you made during your interview.

Having the right mix of strengths and quirks on your profile will help cement an image of authenticity and increase your chances of getting hired.

4) Always proofread

Bad grammar, misspelled words, and other literary errors can be unavoidable, but it’s important to eliminate them from your social media profiles if you want to be taken seriously. Always proofread your posts before hitting the publish button, because any grammatical mistake on your social media, whether intentional or unintentional, can be counted as a point against you. Even if you have perfect grammar and simply made a mistake, employers will view such errors as a lack of attention to detail.

If you can’t even pay attention to what you post on your own social space, can they trust you to pay attention and be thorough with your work if they hire you?

5) Post thoughtful, valuable content

Stay active on social media, but be extremely selective about what you do decide to post. One mistake people tend to make online is they turn their social media accounts into public online diaries where they talk about how they are feeling, what’s annoying them, and more.

Social media platforms are great for sharing useful information, as well as motivational and inspirational content, to millions of users across the globe. This provides you with a great opportunity to not only reach out to other people, but to create a strong personal brand as well.

This is why it’s important to only post content that provides some sort of value. Use each tweet or Facebook status as an opportunity to showcase your personality, prove your knowledge and expertise, and engage with other like-minded individuals in the same career niche or industry.

Making your social media profiles more appealing to prospective employers is all about creating a professional persona. Applying the tips above can help you carve out your personal brand and solidify your online presence, which might just help you land the job of your dreams.

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