Part 2 of 3 in our series, “Social Media Savvy in Silicon Valley”

You are savvy enough to know letting out a long social media rant about your boss or the undesirable conditions of your cubicled office is a bad idea. Yet avoiding negative comments is only the first step toward shaping a positive, professional presence for yourself online. Social media, for job seekers, is a potentially powerful tool because it allows you to make an impression on recruiters that doesn’t typically come across in a cover letter or resumé. You know potential employers scan LinkedIn and Facebook to see the human person behind the application on their desk. This can put you at a major advantage over the competition if your social media stream shows off your best side.

Personal Details and Your Professional Image

Artists tend to be very selective about the visual content they post to social media; they know anyone who looks at their personal Instagram account is going to form a particular opinion about their tastes as a creative person. Anyone in any field can take a similar approach by choosing to post material that most accurately reflects their talents and goals.

Did you have a great time networking with other web designers at the regional conference? Use it as an opportunity to show the world, including job recruiters, how passionate you are about working in your niche market by posting it to your Facebook wall and LinkedIn timeline. Don’t stop with professional activities. Personal details can also highlight your positive qualities. Framed the right way, half-marathon training can demonstrate your dedication in the face of challenges; posting about your volunteer work can show how generous you are willing to be with your gifts and time.

Turning Negative Comments Positive

Sometimes you can’t help what others ask you or bring up on Facebook. For instance, what if a friend who knows you are quitting your job asks about the upcoming change? You can delete the comment, but you don’t necessarily need to shut down communication with friends just to impress a potential employer.

Use a potentially negative situation like this to make a positive statement about your professional outlook. Instead of responding to this line of questioning with “Thanks for asking– can’t wait to leave that place”, post something good about where you are headed, like “Looking forward to starting my new position at the top graphic design firm in Palo Alto.” This is how to use social media to get a job now or in the future: by consistently showing off your best side, even in personal communications.

Hiring managers frequently use social media for hiring and recruiting purposes, particularly if they want to understand how well an applicant might fit in with the company culture. Allow this practice to work in your favor by making a good impression on HR with the image you project on social media. Letting social media reflect your best side personally and professionally just might land you the next job.

Kinetic Search is a boutique Creative, Marketing and HR staffing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in Palo Alto and Berkeley. Named one of the Top 25 Largest Staffing Firms in the Bay Area, we specialize in contract, full-time, and temp-to-hire staffing. Reach us at (510) 649-2000.

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Kinetic Search is a top San Francisco Bay Area boutique Creative, Marketing and HR staffing agency. Reach us at (650) 485-3025.