Entering the Job Market? Conduct a Personal Social Media Audit


Around this time each year, I get inquiries from college students preparing for graduation and eager to enter the workforce. While it’s been a few years since I’ve been a fresh-faced newcomer to the job market, I’m always happy to meet with young people and offer advice.

I typically share with them the 15 Tips to Land That First Job in PR that I developed with some of my colleagues a few years ago. While the information remains relevant, after speaking with a class on professionalism at the Robertson School of Media & Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University this past semester, it became apparent that there needed to be a 16th tip added to this list.

If you’re on the hunt for a job in public relations – or in any field for that matter – consider tip #16:

Social Media Name TagWhen an individual reaches out to me to set up an informational interview or inquire about job openings at PadillaCRT, one of the first things I typically do is to check that person’s social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social channels. I find this useful for two reasons:

In 2015, I’m surprised by the number of individuals in their 20s that I meet who have little-to-no social media presence. And if they have a social presence, I’m surprised by how inactive some of these individuals are on social networking sites, particularly young people looking to break into highly competitive communications industries.

Social media has become an increasingly important component of what we do as public relations professionals. During the course of my career in PR, I’ve seen social media go from a “what is it” to a “nice to have” to an integral part of our public relations arsenal. Therefore, it’s expected that young people enter the field of public relations with a strong understanding of social media and how it’s applicable to business.

Secondly, your social media presence reveals a great deal about you and the kind of employee you might be. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 51 percent of all employers who use social media for background information on potential employees are finding things that cause them not to hire a candidate. What kinds of online information are employers finding that have kept them from hiring a potential candidate? These should be common sense, but according to CareerBuilder, the top five are:

Employers aren’t just searching the social networking sites. According to the survey, 45 percent of employers use search engines, such as Google, to research potential job candidates.

Ever done a little egosurfing on Google? What you find about yourself can sometimes be interesting and surprising.

What’s a person to do to make sure they’re social media ready for a job hunt? Here are a few tips:

What other things should job seekers consider about their social media presence?


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