If you’re like most of us these days, you probably have a social media account, or maybe even a couple. Why not, they are a great way to stay connected with friends and family, plus they can sometimes even help you in your job search. Be careful though, in some cases, your social media accounts can actually hurt your chances of landing that job, or even keeping your current one. According to a recent survey done by CareerBuilder.com, screening a candidate based off of their social media prior to hiring is at an all-time high of 70%.
Where are hiring managers looking for information on their future employees, or current employees? Most hiring managers will be looking at your social media platforms, as well as run your name through popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, so it is important to do a full cleanup of your online footprint. What are they looking for in their search?
Hiring managers are looking for a professional candidate because that person will be representing their company. How you showcase yourself online can be perceived of how you will act in the workplace, so always use your best judgement when it comes to online posting and sharing. Also, check your writing, are you using correct grammar and spelling correctly? Managers will look at that too.
Information to back up qualifications
Share information about yourself that backs up your professional experience and your qualifications. For example, if there is a certain field that you study, share related posts and give your insight into the information, or try writing educational posts. It’s okay to share your graduation photo or certification acknowledgments too. Showing an interest into your line of work will show a future hiring manager that you are serious about your career. If you are currently employed, share information about your company, like their accomplishments, current projects, or community development.
When someone looks at your social media what are they going to see? Do you have positive, upbeat posts and interactions with your friends or do you share negative information? Believe it or not, many hiring managers relate your online attitude to how you will act in the workplace and may be turned off by that. So as tempting as it may be, avoid getting caught up in sharing negative viral posts and stick to keeping it positive any chance you get. Also, always avoid talking negatively about current or former employers or customers. Almost any hiring manager that sees that will automatically assume that is how you would speak about them if hired.
Reason not to hire you
Initially a hiring manager will be looking for an easy reason not to hire you, so try not to give them that option. Go through your accounts, view all your posts, pictures, likes, friends, grammar, tags etc. Remove anything that could be seen as offensive or negative. Even if your account is set to private, you would be surprised how much information is still available for the public to see.
Here are some more tips of what to avoid doing on online when you are on the job search:
- Avoid posting or using inappropriate language.
- Refrain from posting pictures of drug use or alcohol consumption.
- Ditch the unprofessional screen name or handle.
- Never use discriminatory language when commenting on public posts.
- Poor communication skills, avoid using texting language.
- Don’t badmouth current or previous employers.
- Delete old, non-professional photos and posts
- Consider removing friends that tag you in inappropriate content.
- Try not to overshare.
While all these do’s and don’ts may have you ready to delete your online persona all together, you may want to think twice because this may actually hinder your job search. Studies show that one-quarter of hiring managers expect candidates to have some sort of online presence, and nearly 60% are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find them online.
So, continue to stay connected to the online world, but take a moment to look over your profiles, review your content, and clean up anything that you think a future or current employer would find negative. Use your social media to your advantage and let your professional and positive side shine through.