Social media is a powerful branding tool when looking for a new job, a survey carried out by CareerBuilderrevealed 70% of employers use social networking sites to pre-screen candidates during the hiring process. Utilised correctly, and you could land your dream job. However, used badly, and it could cost you!
Below are some of our do’s and don’ts when using social media, whilst searching for a new job opportunity.
Audit your accounts
In the first instance, take some time to view and evaluate your social media profiles. Some sites such as Facebook allow you to view your profile as the public sees it. Think about what you want to convey about yourself, to prospective employers.
Manage your privacy settings
If you are unsure about what others can find out by searching through your posts, tagged photos and comments, change your privacy settings to limit what others can see. This will prevent anyone seeing anything embarrassing, inappropriate or offensive.
Highlight the positives
Develop your social media pages to highlight your key achievements, portfolio, endorsements or how you support charities and other causes.
For example, if you have participated in charity walks, sky dives and have a Just Giving page, it will showcase that you enjoy helping others – a quality that all employers like to see in future employees!
If you use LinkedIn, ask previous employers and colleagues to endorse you. This is beneficial as 23% of employers who were surveyed, found content that led them to hire a candidate and said it was because they saw that others had posted great testimonies about the candidate.
Keep it clean
In most cases, employers are looking for a reason to hire you, not to dig dirt on you! Don’t feel scared to be active on social media. Photos of you and your dog, or what you are having for dinner aren’t going to harm anyone. Instead, be mindful to post respectfully and thoughtfully, especially when discussing controversial topics or getting involved in debates where your opinions could offend people or be taken out of context.
Follow relevant pages
Where possible, follow industry relevant pages and share content from reliable and trustworthy sources. For instance, if you are interested in pursuing a career in IT, you may choose to post articles on new technology launches or, changes in operating systems. This will demonstrate to prospective employers that you are passionate, proactive in keeping up to date with new developments in your industry and eager to progress.
Think before you share
Once you have secured a job, continue your due diligence checks. Findings from the CareerBuilder survey show that 48% of employers monitor current employees on social media and 33% have reprimanded or dismissed staff because of content found online. Always consider what you are posting.
Don’t delete all your content
Generally, most employers are searching for a well-rounded, diverse workforce with a happy work-life balance. Therefore, when exploring your social media profiles, they are simply exploring whether your values and lifestyle will match the team and company culture.
Don’t get tempted to delete all your social media content as in most cases it should only represent a positive persona of you.
Never post negative comments about a previous employer/colleague
Absolutely, never be negative about a previous manager, job role, colleague or organisation on social media – no matter how bad they were! It will only make you look bad.
Don’t do yourself out of a job
Employers who participated in the CareerBuilder survey stated that when they found content on a social networking site that caused them not to hire a candidate, it was because of the following reasons. The job candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information (40%), they posted information about them drinking or using drugs – (36%) or had displayed discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. – (31%).
Remember, how you portray yourself on social media is your advert for yourself! Even if you have an amazing CV and remain confident in interviews, don’t let yourself down because of one silly, drunken photo.