Social media plays a bigger, more prominent role in our personal and professional lives now than ever and the influence it has will only continue to grow.
As many as 92% of recruiters confess they creep social media if hiring candidates. It helps them to gain insight into the individual’s character and whether the candidate’s a good fit for the company.
So what are recruiters and potential employers looking for when they’re investigating your profiles? What do you need to know about social media hiring tactics?
Keep reading for tips on what to display and what not to when you’re looking for the perfect job (or any job to pay the bills).
What Does Your Profile Photo Say About You?
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Social Media Hiring Tip #1: Avoid Trash Talk
No one likes a complainer, especially if it’s going to be about them.
Potential employers take note of how you talk about past and current employers, bosses, and co-workers.
They also want to make sure you’re not giving away company secrets, inappropriately talking about clients or bragging about stealing office supplies.
Avoid posting about calling in sick and partying at the cottage or having a hangover too. No one wants to hire someone who’s not going to be responsible about showing up to work.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends but have you ever wondered what your profiles say to strangers and potential employers?
Social Media Hiring Tip #2: You Are Your Brand
Just as a company builds their brand through online business profiles, your personal social media pages are your personal brand.
Nobody likes the grammar police when they post something but potential employers will be paying attention to what you say and how you say it.
You may think your social media posts are done in your off time so employers don’t care what and how you post about your life.
If you want to land your dream job, you need to consider what each and every post says about you as an employee and a person.
A picture says a thousand words and can either help or hinder your success. Your profile picture and those you or friends post can be scrutinized by potential or current employers.
You may think you have privacy settings that stop anyone except your friends from seeing your selfies and party shots but you can’t be too sure.
More and more employers make connections with potential and current employees or their friends to get as much access as possible. Friends who tag you in pictures may be inadvertently giving potential employers more than you want to share.
A professional, reserved photo gallery will make it easier for you to get that coveted interview.
Your profile picture is the most important of all because it’s the first thing employers, recruiters, even clients will check out if they’re curious.
Your choice of profile picture can make or break your future career and life.
Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative
Social media is more than just a “social” network of friends wanting to party.
It’s one of the main sources of information that people use to form an opinion on someone and possibly make decisions affecting that person’s future.
You may have a great resume but your online reputation could be more of a deciding factor than anything your resume contains. Especially if the things posted online oppose what you’ve included in your resume.
Every post you make or profile picture you use doesn’t have to be professionally edited but if they’re accessible to others, make sure they portray you in a good light.
If someone Google searches your name, it helps if there aren’t negative results or blog posts ranting about employers or authority figures.
Social Media Hiring Tip #3: Know What You Show
Each social media site has privacy settings that allow you to have some control over who can see your photographs, videos, and written posts.
You can’t just assume that default settings give you the most privacy or protect you from negative exposure.
Even private chats and photographs sent via text, email or apps like Snapchat can come back to haunt you. While you may have taken it for an intimate conversation or a drunken dare that doesn’t mean the other party will respect that.
Thousands of people have been affected by security breaches and hackers. Many will remember the Ashley Madison website information leak that exposed cheaters looking for love.
Timing is Everything
It’s important to pay attention to the timing of your posts and profile information as well. Posting updates during work hours, having discrepancies in timelines on social media and your resume or writing emails to potential employers from your current employment email will all raise red flags for future employers.
Not updating profiles can also be detrimental to your job hunt. An outdated LinkedIn profile or Facebook profile that hasn’t been used since 2007 may leave some recruiters leary.
In fact, when asked, some influential employers have cautioned that not being able to find any social media presence for a candidate leaves them feeling leary as well. As many as 35% are less likely to hire someone they can’t find online.
Don’t just figure everything is hunky dory with your social media profiles. Ask friends to survey your online presence.
Search yourself on various search engines and social media sites without signing in. This way you’ll see what others find when they search.
Get the help of reputation monitors, brand developers or resume experts to put your best foot forward.