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Tom: This morning we are talking about a very important part of hunting for a job now.

Mellody: That’s right, Tom. The economy is picking up after a tough winter, and so is the job market. So, if you have been waiting for the storm to blow over a bit and are looking to take the next step in your career, now might be the right time. So, I am here to talk about the job search, but more specifically, I am here to talk to you about managing your online presence when you are searching for a new job – both things to do, and things to avoid.

Tom: fantastic! What is the first thing we need to know?

Mellody: first things first: be aware that employers will research you online. Companies regularly search for you on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms, so you need to make sure you are aware of what a search of your name on these any of these platforms will turn up. A CareerBuilder survey found that 48% of employers conduct web searches on candidates, 44% search Facebook accounts, and 28% of employers search on Twitter. and if a simple search on these platforms turns up things that you would not want your employer to see, you need to take steps to remedy this.

That being said, you can turn these searches to your advantage. By coordinating the different social media platforms, you can harness these searches to improve your image in the eyes of prospective employers.

Tom: can you give us some examples?

Mellody: Certainly! Take your LinkedIn profile. If you have one – and you should – you need to have a professional profile photograph, and your name and location should match your resume. That way, when employers search for your name, the first impression they have of you will be the same thing they will see when you walk in to their office for the interview. As they say, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

Additionally, start a professional Twitter account, and make sure to use your name and photo from your LinkedIn page. Use this account to follow companies and experts in your field. For example, if you are in education, follow secretary of education Arne Duncan. This will not only keep you up to date on the development in your industry, but by using it to share insights and interact on twitter, it will demonstrate your engagement with what you do, or want to do. Just remember – avoid the controversy on this platform!

Tom: This is great advice! What else should we think about?

 Mellody: Going back to LinkedIn, Tom, it is important to make sure you are utilizing your page to the fullest extent possible. Don’t simply have your name and current position; fill in all of the boxes here! While you may be finding job openings and submitting applications, your LinkedIn page allows employers and others to see your resume without you having to send it out! Take advantage, and have your resume up to date on LinkedIn.

After you have made sure you have your page updated, you have to use the site! Connecting with colleagues and friends, and following influencers is important to building the network. Also, it provides you the opportunity to connect with their contacts, which is the whole point. So don’t be afraid of asking your contacts to introduce you if they are in your field, or in your geographic area. The best way to get a foot in the door is to know someone who can open it for you!

Tom: That last point is very important, Mellody! Any final thoughts?

Mellody: Of course. The final point I want to make sure we get across – scrub your social network sites of anything that could leave a bad impression. If you have a personal facebook page that is public, make it private. If you have a Twitter account that you use to share gossip with friends, you should think about making it unsearchable or removing your name from it. ultimately, any site that is linked to you via a name or email address or in any other way could come up when people are searching for you, so make absolutely certain that your personal sites stay personal. This way, you have your best, and professional, foot forward.

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