Make your social media work for you, not against you

Make your social media work for you, not against you

As the new year begins, many of us make resolutions to better ourselves, whether it be our bodies, our relationships, our jobs or other aspects of our lives. Have you ever considered using social media like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to help improve what people see in you — including employers? I’m not talking about bragging self-promotion but establishing a presence that shows you are genuine, hard-working and likable.

It’s no secret most employers look at a candidate’s social media accounts before extending an offer or even an interview. Most are looking to make sure the person you say you are in your cover letter and resume matches up with what they see on your social media accounts.

I think most people are pretty clear on the “don’ts” of social media — don’t post inappropriate photos, don’t post about heavy drinking or drug use, don’t post sexual content, don’t use foul and offensive language — so I want to suggest some “dos” that will work for you when trying to land a new job or even a promotion.

Highlight some of your accomplishments

Employers will see you work hard to achieve your goals. Did you recently earn a new certification? Pass a tough exam? Share how your hard work paid off. You can bet performance goals are key at many organizations.

Celebrate and thank the people around you

Employers love to see you’re a team player. Did you finish a race with the help of an encouraging training buddy or complete a home-improvement project with help from a skilled friend? Post a picture and be sure to recognize that person, showing you appreciate teamwork and cooperation.

Share a great review

Companies truly value a great review from a customer. Are you looking to get hired at a place for which you can leave a positive and honest review? If so, take a few minutes to do so. It may go a long way in getting that job.

Follow companies that interest you

Many companies post job openings on their social media accounts. Be sure you’re following any companies you’d really like to work for so you’ll see job postings and be informed about any news regarding the business.

Keep a positive attitude

Will potential employers see rants about slow retail workers in your news feed? While no one actually enjoys being stuck in the slow line, complaining about it only shows impatience and lack of empathy for others. Either keep the comments off of social media and vent with the person beside you or show a little support and encouragement for the people who are working behind the register.

Speak highly of your employer

Once you get the job or while you’re at your current one, be sure what you say about your employer is positive. If you don’t have anything positive to say about them, then stick to the old adage and don’t say anything at all. A future employer doesn’t want to hire someone who will potentially smear their reputation to hundreds of people. On the other hand, a positive, complimentary person will score major points in their favor.

When it comes down to it, as much as we like to complain about the pitfalls of social media, let’s remember our digital profiles make us look great, educated, marketable, teachable and hireable. That’s a New Year’s resolution for all.

At the Wayne County Schools Career Center, all adult full-time students participate in professional-development classes to learn practical skills and soft skills that every employer is looking for. From interviewing and resume writing to how to dress to impress, preparing students for success in the workplace is our top priority.

To learn more about adult education at WCSCC, visit our website at or call 330-669-7070 and attend an upcoming free information session.

Katie Smith is the marketing and public relations coordinator at Wayne County Schools Career Center Adult & Community Education. The Employment Resource Fund at the Wayne County Community Foundation is a local, self-sustaining work and education fund. Its mission is to build a skilled workforce in Wayne County by providing grants to local nonprofits with employment programs that increase the success of their students, clients or employees. In turn the nonprofit spends small amounts of money on hard-working adults to help them get jobs or better jobs.

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