These days, employers consider much more than resumes when making hiring decisions. A national survey conducted by CareerBuilder in 2014 found that 43% of the employers they polled check the social media profiles of job applicants, including Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets. If you’re job hunting, you’ll want to check your accounts to see how you’re representing yourself online. To help, we offer some tips for evaluating your social media presence, and some steps you can take to make sure your online reputation enhances your professional image.
Are Your Social Media Profiles Job Search Friendly?
Look at your social media profiles through the eyes of prospective employers. What do you see when you search for yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media sites you use? If you wouldn’t hire yourself, then an employer won’t either.
The CareerBuilder survey indicated that 51% of employers made the decision not to hire candidates because of negative things they found online, including:
- Alcohol abuse or illegal drug use
- Rude or profane language
- Negative comments about employers or coworkers
- Poor grammar and misspelled words
- Lying about an absence or job qualifications
The bottom line is that social media posts that show a lack of integrity, a bad attitude, or demonstrate poor communication skills may damage your chances of getting hired. Remember that the things you say and do online reflect your character (just as they do in person). If you wouldn’t want an employer to see it—then take it off your profile. And be mindful about what you share. You may think that your social media accounts are personal and private and that anyone who isn’t your friend or follower can’t see your information. That is often not the case. Check your privacy settings to see how much of your content is being shared outside of your circle of friends and family. Be mindful of what you share online. Think of anything that you post as public information.
Have you heard that old saying that if you don’t have anything nice to say—then don’t say anything at all? You might want to follow this advice on social media while you are on your job search. Posts that criticize your current boss, co-workers, or customers, are likely to be seen as signs that you are not a team player. Employers are typically looking to hire employees with positive attitudes who will represent them well. Constant complaints reflect poorly on a candidate’s ability to work well with others. This may be particularly important if you are looking for job that requires good people skills, such as an administrative assistant, customer service representative, or receptionist position. If you can’t present a positive attitude about your own life and job online then how can a potential employer count on you to be upbeat, polite, and helpful in person?
How Social Media Can Help You In Your Job Search
The good news is that your presence on social media can actually help you land the job you want. The same CareerBuilder poll showed that 29% of the managers they surveyed said they had hired candidates in part because they were impressed by something they found on a social media profile.
Impress potential employers by using your online accounts to tell the story of your personal, educational, and professional accomplishments. Share posts that highlight your creativity, positive attitude, great communication skills or any other assets that might impress a recruiter or hiring manager. To read more tips, take a look at our Social Media & Your Job Search resource, which offers job seekers advice on the best ways to use your online profiles to your advantage.