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How to Optimize Your Social Media Presence While Job Hunting

Updated on September 28, 2016
SMD2012 profile image

I'm a business communications coach who teaches writing, speaking, and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change.

If you're looking for a new job, or just thinking about looking for a new job later on down the road, it's never too early to start optimizing your social media accounts. From LinkedIn to Facebook, and even Pinterest, what you do online creates a virtual thumbprint of who you are online.

Social media accounts can be turned into free PR while you job hunt!

Are your social media accounts an accurate and professional representation of who you are?
Are your social media accounts an accurate and professional representation of who you are?

Have you ever done a search on a particular niche topic, found a website that looked like it was packed with great information, but then realized that the last post was two years ago? While the site may have had plenty of new-to-you information, knowing that site will not likely be updated, let alone have any meaningful comment activity, can be off-putting. No one wants to hang around a website that looks like a ghost town.

Social media is all about timely relevance. Most blogging and social networking platforms clearly display the date of each blog post, tweet or status update. There’s a reason for that: people like to know that what they are reading is fashionably up-to-date.

Don't let your social media profiles idle for more than one month without any activity. A lack of activity on any of your social media channels sends the message that:

  • Your website or social media account has been abandoned
  • You aren’t organized enough to use social media effectively
  • Other people aren’t interested in engaging with you

If it has been more than four weeks since you last posted an update on one of your social media accounts, ask yourself if you still really need that website, Twitter profile or other social media site.

If you're certain that you still need to use that channel, draft a clear plan for how often you will be active on that account. There’s nothing wrong with posting once a week, so long as you actually post once a week. Once a month would probably be OK with your readers too (although it might take awhile for Google to catch on to you.)

How often do you update your online profiles or blogs?

See results

Choose your social media channels carefully. Every day there seems to be a new social media channel vying for your attention -- the latest big name being Pinterest. How do you keep up with all of these social media channels? Or, perhaps the better question is, do you need to keep up with every new one that comes along?

I think it’s a myth that you need to be plugged into every social media channel on the planet in order to be relevant. I suggest that, in the beginning, you limit the number of channels you use. Start with some of the more popular social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Then, limit the number of accounts you create on each of those channels.

Another reason to close inactive accounts is that if you are not logging into your account, you might miss an important message such as a domain renewal notice or a security threat such as your account being hacked. If you can't log into your accounts because you are too busy, then don't be surprised if your account gets into trouble without you even realizing it. If your social media sites or email accounts get hijacked, you'll have your hands full trying to undo any false, inappropriate, or damaging information that shows up on your accounts,

Sharpen your social media activities. If you are new to social media, start by mastering just a few social media platforms first. Then, when updating content and being sociable becomes a habit, start adding more social media sites to your network.

Remember, using social media is about enriching your personal story, not watering it down with multiple, poorly maintained sites, profiles, and networking accounts.

© 2016 Sally Hayes

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  • SMD2012 profile image
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    Sally Hayes 16 months ago

    I haven't used Hootsuite but I definitely like the idea of being able to plan my messages ahead of time and then posting them at an optimal time. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the tip about Hootsuite!

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 16 months ago from Hamburg, New York

    How do you feel about sites like hootsuite? Hootsuite allows you to post messages to social media but you can set the date and time that you want it released and it will post it for you.

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