Is Your Social Media Ready for Employer Scrutiny?
Employers Are Looking at Your Social Media
On the hunt for a job? Don’t let your social media profiles be the reason you stay unemployed.
Your social media profiles can either make or break you when it comes to portraying a professional appearance to potential future employers. You did know potential employers are looking at your profiles right? Skimming through your images, glancing over your Facebook posts, and looking over your friends/contacts? Future employers are doing this because they are allowed to and because it is a much easier way to see what kind of person you really are. Oh sure, your resume might say you are professionally minded, always timely, and well-connected but your social media profiles can tell them the truth. What kind of truths are your social media profiles telling your future employers?
Here is a personal story for you,
Once upon a time I was looking for an internship. I needed this internship for school credit and there were three internships I was applying for that I was particularly interested in. I was accepted through the first round of applications for two of those internships and was asked to come in for interviews.
From my perspective both interviews went over very well; I was able to be myself, talk myself up a bit, and I seemed to be a perfect fit for the jobs in question. Even though I thought both interviews went well, one employer did not contact me again. But one did and I was offered an internship for three months.
After I was hired I asked my employer what made him choose me instead of the other candidates, what was it that made my application more noteworthy and my interview more successful? This is what he said, “Actually after our interview I took a look at your Facebook page and realized we had a friend in common and I contacted her for a referral.” I asked who the friend was, and it turned out to be a relative of his who I had babysat for a couple of times. Luckily for me, she had very nice things to say about me and that; along with my other qualities, education, and skills is what convinced him to hire me.
This experience has stuck with me and has convinced me that future employers will go above and beyond to make sure they are hiring good, qualified, and trustworthy employees.
Tips on Getting Your Profiles Ready for Recruitment
- Blog - Online Resume/Portfolio
- Keep it Professional
Get your Facebook profile all ready for future employer viewing with the following tips:
Yes, your future employers will be looking at your Facebook pictures unless of course, you set your privacy settings so that they cannot see them. But in my experience, I have found that employers like having the ability to glance through your pictures and it may not be in your best interest to hide them. In the case that you do not hide your pictures; you need to make sure the pictures you have on your Facebook portray a professional, unselfish, non-party-type personality. This means, though they may have been some good times, you should get rid of any pictures of you looking like you are drinking/partying. You should also delete or remove most of the selfies you have taken.
Take a look at your status updates over the last few months and make sure you do not have anything too radical, one-sided, unedited, or uncensored on them.
Make sure any and all comments you have made over the past few months show that you are a professional/nice/open-minded person. If you have comments that do not give that kind of outlook on your personality then you should delete them.
Sometimes you can’t help who your friends are, what they do, what they post, and or what they say but you can help the things your friends do and say that show up on your Facebook. And, if you learned anything from my personal story you know that it can be very beneficial to have friends who will say nice things about you and your work ethic.
- Privacy Settings
These days you can set your privacy settings so that future employers only see what you want them to see; use these settings to your advantage.
LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, was actually created specifically to be a dynamic professional social media account. LinkedIn is a place to make and keep an up-to-date professional profile, include and have skills/expertise endorsed by others, and to make and keep professional connections. LinkedIn is the ultimate networking social media account so you should take advantage of that fact, especially when job hunting.
Here are some tips for keeping your LinkedIn social media account up-to-date, professional, and relevant:
Keeping a profile that is not up-to-date is like sending an old-outdated version of your resume to future employers. Update your profile often and make sure you get on LinkedIn on a regular basis to keep up with contacts and messages.
- Skills/Education/Experience Lists
You have the ability to list all of your education, skills, and experience on a dynamic social media account and no one can tell you it is too much or that you need to shorten the list (unlike when building and sending resumes) Take advantage of this and endorse friend’s skills and experience so that they will do the same for you.
LinkedIn is the new place to network. Make and keep track of your connections using LinkedIn, you never know when a past-employer or friend may be able to offer you a job or steer you in the right direction.
Blog - Online Resume/Portfolio
Many people create their own blogs as a sort of journal, daily writing tool, online resume, or even an online portfolio. If you are looking and applying for jobs you may want to think about getting or updating your current blog. If you simply use your blog for writing purposes, then make sure your writing is good/clear/concise and free of spelling errors. If you use your blog as an online resume or as a portfolio than you need to be sure it is current and up-to-date as possible and that it really shows off who you are and what you can do. An online resume can be so much more than your paper resume, you can include links to work you have done in the past, showcase different companies you have worked with, and include all the information you want.
Social Media Recruitment Stats
According to www.mediabistro.com, “Social media for hiring purposes is at an all-time high: 92 percent of companies use platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for recruitment…” LinkedIn is of course the favorite followed by Facebook and then Twitter. Employers use social media to learn more about their potential employees and about 1/3 of them do not hire based on things they have found on those social media accounts.
Only 36 percent of company firms are not using social media for recruitment purposes. Are your social media profiles ready?
Social Media Recruitment Stats
Used by 78% of companies
Used by 87% of companies
Used by 93% of companies
66% Use Facebook
54% Use Twitter
Keep it Professional
Your social media accounts can tell a potential future employer a lot about who you are as a person and sometimes those employers will not make the distinction between who you are online and who you are professionally. This means you have a job to do while you are searching for your job you need to keep your social media profiles as professional as possible.
© 2014 Maddi