The first thing a PR hiring manager does with a resumé

Social media is an essential component of the job search. Here’s how you can harness it for your own good—and avoid problems—when you’re hunting for a PR job.

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It enables you to connect with old friends, spy on ex-boyfriends, keep in touch with family, and stay updated with friends who live faraway.

From a professional standpoint, social media can help you find new opportunities, network, and stay up to date on your industry. But there can certainly be some pitfalls. It’s important to approach social media with purpose:

When you are looking for a job

I have interviewed tons of folks for positions at my PR firm, and the first thing I (and lots of those in my position) do when I receive a promising resumé is to Google that person’s name. It’s amazing what you find out about someone through the Internet; often, I’ll have full access to their Facebook photos, Instagram account, Pinterest page, tweets (and Twitter photo), past/current blogs, YouTube videos, awards in high school, mentions in the school paper, etc.

You’ve probably heard this before, but the best advice is to clean it up. Untag yourself from compromising photos, and ensure that all of your public profile settings are appropriate. Set for private everything that you can, but remember that there are many ways to get around privacy settings—so make sure that anything you have online is OK for recruiters to see.

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