Conducting a Social Media Audit, Part 2
Part 1:

In a previous article we examined your Google presence and social media accounts from the perspective of an employer. Now we’re going to consider LinkedIn, your most important social media account when it comes to your career.

Evaluate Your LinkedIn Presence

LinkedIn is likely your most visible employment-related social media profile, and you should spend some time making sure that it represents you well.

Answer these questions:

  • Have you set up your personalized URL for your LinkedIn profile?
  • Does your profile picture represent you well?
  • Do you have your contact information available on the profile? (phone number and additional email addresses)
  • Have you included all the languages you speak?
  • Are the key projects you’ve worked on including in your profile?
  • Have you included all the courses you’ve taken?
  • Does your information on LinkedIn match up with your résumé information?
  • Review your Groups — are there any “weird” ones in there you should remove?

You also want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile meets the site’s definitions of “profile completeness.” LinkedIn has its own criteria for “profile completeness,” which has changed somewhat over time. To be considered “complete” by LinkedIn’s standards, you need these items in your LinkedIn profile:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • At least three skills
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections

Having a strong LinkedIn network is also important, so you need to assess the strength of your network. While LinkedIn only requires 50 connections to be “complete,” you need to grow your network beyond this. You should have a minimum of 100 connections; however, the more connections you have, the better LinkedIn will work for you.

See If There Are Any Gaps

While it’s not necessary to have accounts on multiple social media platforms, you need to identify if there are any industry-specific or job-specific social media accounts you need to have in order to boost your credibility as a candidate.

How do you know what profession-specific social media presence you need? Ask colleagues. Google others in your profession and see what social media platforms they use. Inquire of your professional association contacts. Read industry trade journals and see what apps and websites are mentioned.

Assess Your Total Social Media Presence

The final step is to ensure consistency across all your social media profiles. For example, consider using the same professional photo on all your social media accounts (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) so it’s easy for the prospective employer to see that it is your profile.

Go back to Step One and Google yourself again, and continue to do that weekly and see how your results change as you pay more attention to building and maintaining your social media profiles.

If you’d like more information about personal branding and cultivating your profile online, check out these books:

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.