If you’ve ever worked in an administrative role, you know just how important your professional image is. For years this was restricted to your in-person presentation in the workplace. However, now that social media plays a major role in everyday life, admins in particular need to focus on portraying a professional social media presence.
“Administrative professionals are often the first person employees, clients, and visitors interact with, so employers have always placed a strong emphasis on first impressions when hiring,” says Shannen Bagley, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support & Human Resources division. “However, having a polished social media presence isn’t just about looking professional to a potential employer—failing to have one could indicate to a hiring manager that you don’t have good judgment, which is necessary in order be a successful admin.”
To ensure that your social media presence doesn’t hinder your job search, here are 4 things Shannen says you should do:
Clean up your social media profiles
Before you begin looking for a new opportunity, take some time to comb through every one of your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to ensure any content that calls your professional credibility into question is deleted. While it’s okay to have pictures from social outings, make sure they don’t show anything that could damage your professional credibility.
Also, take some time to go through your past posts and eliminate anything you may have said that could be considered off-color. We understand it can be hard to get rid of posts that got you a lot of attention, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Check your privacy settings on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
After you’ve deleted the pictures and tweets that could potentially portray you in a negative light, you’ll want to check and make sure your privacy settings are intact as well. “Now that social media profiles are regularly checked during the hiring process, you have to keep in mind that you’re representing yourself at all times,” Shannen says. “While you should always look to maintain a polished social media presence, strengthening your security settings is also an important part of making a good impression.”
As a starting point, limit your Facebook to being accessible only to your friends, make your Instagram private, and protect your tweets. From there, you can control who can view and tag you in photos, as well as just how much content people you aren’t already connected to can view.
Ensure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume
Even if your LinkedIn profile is public and you’re using it as more than just a personal marketing tool, you want to ensure that it matches your resume. “If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, you should take a side-by-side look at your LinkedIn page and resume to make sure they match up,” explains Shannen. “They don’t have to be a carbon copy of each other, but employers tend to eliminate candidates who don’t have a consistent timeline of jobs and responsibilities across the two.”
Create a professional email address
When it comes to your personal branding during the hiring process, you want to look beyond your social media profiles and consider every piece that makes up your professional online footprint. While it doesn’t relate to your social media presence directly, having a professional email address you use for work purposes is critical to your overall image. For this email address, limit it to your name, your initials and a non-discreet, short combination of numbers if needed. On that note, you also want to ensure that the content of your emails is professional as well. Before you communicate with any hiring managers or recruiters, make sure you are using a professional font style and color, your grammar and sentence structure is clean, and that your email signature is limited to your name and contact information.