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What are three words that describe you? Are they intelligent, funny, and hard working? Creative, quirky, and meticulous? This is part of your ‘personal brand.’

With your three words in mind, take a look at your social media presence. Are those words being portrayed through all your social channels?

You may feel like your social media pages are for YOU and you alone, but that is not the case. Even if you make your profile private, your friends can see your posts and can share them with someone else. For example, one girl vented about her new job, and it resulted in her being fired.

Google yourself, what is the first social media network that pops up? A recruiter or hiring manager can do this within seconds of viewing your resume. Today cultural fit is just as important as your skill set, and your social media network can tell a lot about the kind of person you are. For example, previous Facebook posts or Tweets complaining about work will probably not win you brownie points with a future employer.

How can you leverage social media to help you find your next position?

Let’s start with the #1 social network that can help you land your next job: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 500 million users. LinkedIn allows you to “link” or connect with recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers to help make more of a personal connection instead of just submitting your resume. As a recruiter, I am constantly connecting with professionals who are either looking for a new position or just need some industry or job hunting advice. LinkedIn also allows you to apply for jobs directly using your LinkedIn profile; so it is very important that you treat your LinkedIn profile as an additional resume. You can also add a link to your own website and/or attachments to your profile (your resume, website, and portfolio).

Twitter is a great way to stay connected and see real-time information about jobs and industry trends by following companies, recruiters, and industry leaders that interest you. Twitter is more laid back than LinkedIn so it’s less formal to tweet someone or DM them. Twitter is also a great way to get to learn about someone’s interests so that when you do connect or get that job interview you can find common interests to talk about. Though less formal than LinkedIn, you should still maintain a level of professionalism when you’re on Twitter. You can post funny articles or share your opinion about things, but there is a tasteful way to do it. Refrain from using vulgar language; it doesn't make you sound more authoritative or “cool”, it just puts you in a bad light when a potential employer or the CEO of Apple comes across your tweet.

Instagram is a wonderful creative outlet and is a great way to show self-expression. Instagram can be a great tool for designers to showcase their projects and creativity, but be sure to take pictures with care and really think about the pictures you’re posting. Limit the selfies and put the beer down before you take a picture that you post to social media. More and more hiring managers are requesting Instagram accounts for designers because they feel that they can get a better idea of their design aesthetic. So snap with care!

There are many other social media platforms that are available and there are some points to keep in mind across the board. Be thoughtful and put care into what you’re posting. Think about the words and pictures you are putting out for the world to see, and about how would you like them to reflect on you. Be consistent across all of your social media channels.

Finally, come back to the three words that you would use to describe yourself. Every social media post contributes to people’s perceptions of your personal brand, so it’s important to keep brand consistency for yourself. Social media puts you out in front of the world, so be the best brand you can be.