If you’ve ever worked in an administrative role, you know just how important the image you put out to the world is. For years this was restricted to your in-person presentation in the workplace. However, the rise of digital and social media has created new and unique challenges for office support and administrative professionals.
“Administrative professionals are often the first person employees, clients, and visitors interact with, so employers have always placed a strong emphasis on first impressions when hiring,” says Lauren Pearce, an Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support and Human Resources division. “The internet and the rapid growth on online profiles makes the stakes higher than ever before! Employers are utilizing email technology and social media platforms to not only find and communicate with prospective hires, but also weed out unprofessional candidates altogether. It’s now more important than ever to ensure your online presence doesn’t raise any red flags about your professional credibility.”
To ensure that your digital footprint does not hinder your job search, continue reading for Lauren’s advice:
Clean your social media profiles
Commit to taking time to comb through each and every one of your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and ensure any and all content that calls your professional credibility into question is deleted. While it’s okay to have pictures from social outings, make sure they don’t show anything that could damage your professional credibility.
Also, take some time to go through your past posts and eliminate anything unsavory you may have said. We understand it can be hard to get rid of posts that earned you plenty of “likes,” but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Check your privacy settings on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
After you scour your pictures or tweets that could potentially portray you in a negative light, you’ll want to check and make sure your privacy settings are intact. “Now that sites like Facebook are part of the picture, you have to keep in mind that you’re representing yourself at all times,” Lauren says. “Your main concern should still be that all of your content is professional. However, strengthening your security settings is also an important part of keeping a polished online image.”
As a starting point, limit your Facebook to being accessible only to your friends and protect your tweets. From there, you can control who can view and tag you in photos, as well as just how much content people you aren’t already connected to can view.
Ensure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume
If your LinkedIn profile may be public and you may be using it as more than just a personal marketing tool, you want to ensure that it matches your resume. “If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, you should take a side-by-side look at your LinkedIn page and resume to make sure they match up,” explains Lauren. “One doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the other, but employers tend to eliminate candidates who don’t have a consistent timeline of jobs and responsibilities across the two.”
Create a professional email address
While you may already have an email address that you regularly use, you’ll want to create a strictly professional one if you haven’t already. For this email address, limit it to your name, your initials and a non-discreet, short combination of numbers if your name and initials alone are unavailable. On that note, you also want to make sure that the content of your emails is professional as well. So before you communicate with any hiring managers or recruiters, make sure you are using a professional font style and color, your grammar and sentence structure is clean, and that your email signature is limited to your name and contact information.