GR marketing firm offers college grads social media advice

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Graduates from across the country will soon be flooding the workforce, building their resumes and applying for their dream jobs.

But building the perfect resume is only part of the battle when it comes to landing a job.

Pete Brand, CEO and co-founder of Mind Scape — an internet marketing service in Grand Rapids — says college graduates would be wise to go through all their social media accounts with a fine-tooth comb before applying for jobs out of school.

“I would encourage someone to look at their entire digital footprint,” Brand said. “It’s really easy to go out there and do a Google search on your own name and see what exists out there.”

Employers, as Brand explains, are looking for candidates that display professional behavior online because the line between our digital and actual self has grown increasingly thin.

“I think there is a really accurate reflection of who somebody is, based on how the participate on social media,” Brand said. “I don’t necessarily think that there is a difference between business behavior and personal behavior. We are who we are, and I don’t think you should put on a costume before you go to work.”

There are certain red flags that employers have grown to look for when scanning through social media profiles.

Someone that is overly dramatic, somebody that attacks people online and makes vicious statements. Another common warning sign is someone who parties every weekend and exhibits traits of low self-control.

However, Brand says candidates would be wise to display a fair amount of personality on their social media profiles, as long as it’s in good taste.

“Like I’m a hiker right, and I own a marketing agency, but I don’t mind showing pictures of me where my beards all messed up outside,” Brand said. “I totally believe in being authentic but there is a line. Frankly, you need to just be a little cognizant of that because not everybody takes everything with a light heart.”

Some may say that potential employers rummaging through their job candidate’s personal social media profiles is an invasion of privacy, but as Brand argues, the practice has become commonplace in recent years.

“I think privacy been gone for a really long time. I think we all need to act as if we are on camera 24 hours a day, because in most cases we are,” Brand said. “I would tell college grads to realize that anything you post is going to be seen, and it really doesn’t matter what your privacy settings are.”

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