Professionalizing Your Social Media

Since we’re limited on JOUR 444 class time, this week I’ll be sharing three posts focusing on how to use social media effectively before and during the job hunt process. These posts will cover:

  • Understanding your social media footprint (Today)
  • Selecting and prepping your social media accounts (Wednesday)
  • Figuring out who to follow and what content you should be publishing (Friday)

Understand Your Social Media Footprint

The first step in the process is to conduct a social media audit so you can understand your social media footprint. The audit forces you to pull together and analyze all of the social media accounts and content you’ve created over the years. The basic steps for an audit are:

  • Create an excel file and identify every social media account you have ever created.
  • Hyperlink to each account and identify the last time you actually posted to that account in your Excel file.
  • Do a Google search to see if you can find any other accounts that you might have forgotten; do you remember the ones you started in junior high school? Get those in your Excel file too!
  • Analyze each account for its usefulness (both the channel and the content): some may be appropriate for the job hunt and professional life while others may be great for staying connected with family and friends.

This question always comes up: what should I do with the old social media accounts I never use anymore? You have two choices: 1) delete them if they have zero utility, or 2) keep them but consider putting in a post that encourages people to follow you on your active social media accounts.

While you are analyzing each account, be sure to review the actual posts you’ve made on these accounts. Flag any content that may cause you problems during the job search. Remember, these posts are already living in the digital world so deleting them will not make them go completely away.

Flag content you are concerned about, maybe create a new sheet in your Excel file to track these posts. Put hyperlinks to them in your Excel file (screenshots would work too). Then, you can strategize as to how to appropriately explain those posts to any potential employer that asks about them.

Resources to Get You Started

On Wednesday we’ll look at which channels you should be using and how to set a professional foundation for each.

If you have great resources to share with others on this topic, please post those to the comments area.


Image courtesy of

About debrajchico

I teach public relations for Chico State's Department of Journalism & Public Relations. Over the 20+ years of my career I've worked in high-tech agency, governmental and nonprofit PR. I teach courses in entrepreneurial journalism, writing and publication design, PR strategy, advise our student-managed PR agency, and oversee our internship program.

Posted on February 4, 2018, in J444 PR Job Hunt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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