In 2016, a study from CareerBuilder.com, found that last year, 86% of employers consulted potential hires’ social media pages before deciding to make an offer.
This should come as no surprise in an age where social media takes up much of our time and allows us to share our lives as well as our thoughts and opinions instantaneously.
While social media can be a vehicle for self-expression, it is a vehicle for first impressions too, so it is important that you are presenting an honest yet professional version of yourself. Here are ten things to keep in mind when posting online.
- Show that you know how to use social media: Just because employers may be looking at your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn does not mean you should be scared to use them.
In fact, 41% of respondents in the CareerBuilder survey reported that they were unlikely to hire job candidates that did not have an online presence.
So, create that LinkedIn profile or professional Facebook Page.
On both Facebook and LinkedIn, join and participate in career-focused discussion groups. Show potential employers that you have a genuine interest in industry conversations and have the expertise and thoughtful opinions to share.
- Show that you are articulate: According to the CareerBuilder survey Jobvite.com, 36% of employers look to see that potential hires are communicating clearly online. Are your commas in the right places? Are you spelling words correctly and using correct tenses and proper sentence structure?
If not, you may want to correct those errors. If an employer catches a big mistake, such as the misspelling of several words or improper capitalization, this may leave the impression that you don’t care to present the best version of yourself and may not work to represent the company well.
- Be creative and strategical in how you use social media: Especially if you’re applying for a marketing or graphic design position, it’s important to show employers that you are able to bring something fresh to their organization.
Are you creating a personal website? Link to the content that you create whether it be logos, photos you take or content you write. Show potential employers what you have to offer them.
Share articles or videos that are pertinent to your industry. Share your opinions and encourage others to do the same in a constructive way.
Set your social media profiles to private: Not only will this make it easier for you to find and make connections but it also puts potential employers at ease.
According to Monster.com, setting your social media profile to private leaves employers to assume that you have something to hide. Do not lose out on a job opportunity because you chose to keep your profile private, even though, you have nothing to hide.
If you do have something to hide; remove it.
Badmouth previous employers or coworkers: While social media may seem like a diary to vent your frustrations, remember that everyone, including potential employers, can read what you write.
Do not give off the impression that you are unable to exhibit self-restraint and to find productive ways of dealing with your emotions. If you must speak out about work online ensure that you are able to show potential employers that you have found a positive resolution to your problem.
Use profanity: According to Jobvite, 63% of employers say that the use of profanity on a job candidate’s Facebook page is a put-off. Swearing comes off as aggressive and sometimes crude, two characteristics that you do not want employers associating with your personality.
Social media is a great resource for connecting with potential employers and other industry professionals. Remember, however, that once someone clicks on to your page they are receiving an impression of you whether it is one you intended or not.
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Kasper, K. (February 17, 2015). Jobvite infographic: Watch what you post on social media. Retrieved from http://www.jobvite.com/blog/jobvite-infographic-watch-post-social-media/
Thottam, I. (2017). These social media mistakes can actually disqualify you from a job. Retrieved from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/these-social-media-mistakes-can-actually-disqualify-you-from-a-job
Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates Has Increased 500 Percent Over the Last Decade (2016, April 8). Retrieved from http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2F2016&id=pr945&sd=4%2F28%2F2016