Helping your fellow digital man

My peers and I are growing up and shedding our underclassmen skin. We’ve all decided to strive towards being the professional, well-tailored business candidates we admire and we’re doing whatever we can to stand out.

We’re creating blogs, personal sites, profiles and anything else we can use to market ourselves as the perfect online package. While we are aware that we are our biggest competition, my question is this: are we being too self-centered? Shouldn’t we share our new found knowledge of the job search with our peers that seemingly “aren’t getting it”? Perhaps the altruistic side of me is talking but I’d like to see all my friends end up just as successful as myself!

So, let me share some of the best social-media-maintenance advice I’ve gleaned from all over the internet:

1. Nothing is as private as you may think.

  • Your profiles can be looked over MUCH easier than you realize. Sites like Topsy, Pipl, and PeekYou will expose almost every social networking site you’re logged into. Some sites like PeopleSmart can even pinpoint your location or release your phone number for a small fee. Marinate on that!
  • Double-check all privacy settings! Make sure nothing can be found if you do not want it to be found.
  • Also, pay attention to new features and gadgets being added to your favorite sites. Facebook, for example, is notorious for constantly tweaking its privacy settings. Look over your personal preferences and make sure none of your settings have changed with new updates. For help, Wired.com has posted an in-depth guide to keeping it under control:

2. Companies are using social media just as much as you are.

  • Don’t believe it? In 2011, 89% of recruiters used social media when making hiring decisions. Now that number has jumped to 92%.

3. Your “personal brand” is not a mythical thing.

  • At this point, it’s safe to assume that you’re logged into at least 3 different social media sites. You may not use them consistently but since they’re there, make them work for you! Your online profiles should be consistent, cohesive and boast your awesome personality.
  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top three sites employers look to when making new hires. Instagram is quickly gaining in popularity, though, because many people have all their profiles linked together.

So, what does all this mean? Just be smart! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with staying connected and tuned in online, but be mindful of the image you’re creating for yourself. Good luck guys!