“My life is an open book”
Yes it is, and you can bet potential employers will at least skim read it, if not read at length before they consider hiring you for any job. Your social profile spells out your likes and dislikes, beliefs and prejudices, key personality traits and future intentions.
In some ways the social media check is like the first interview. You need to pass with flying colours if you want to have a chance at getting the job.
Three Key Things Interviewers Check on Your Social Profiles:
- Your Personality
- Your Network
- Your Behavior
1. Your Personality
Your online social profile can give away a lot about your personality without an employer ever having to meet you. By looking at your photos, comments, connections and time spent online they can make a pretty good evaluation about the following:
- Extrovert or Introvert
- Work Ethic
- How collaborative you are
- Positive or Negative general outlook
It’s hard to say what exact personality an employer is looking for without knowing the industry, size of company and company culture so you need to aim for a professional social profile.
- Feature a professional profile picture
- Evaluate all personal posts and ask – what does this tell an employer about me? If it’s not good, remove it.
- Develop your network and professional associations.
- Comment and post on industry related news not just personal news.
2. Your Network
In a lot of professional roles your network is just as important as your actual skills so don’t just clean up your social profile go ahead and make useful friends. . Employers want to understand the extent of your network and how well you work collaboratively across your industry.
- Join professional groups and associations in your industry.
- Make connections on LinkedIn and take the time to actively engage with them.
- Make industry related posts.
- Clearly list your professional experience including how long you spent in each role.
- Check the social profile of others in your industry especially those you respect and look at how they are representing themselves.
3. Your Behavior
This one seems so very obvious. Drunken photos, excessive use of bad language in your posts, extreme political views etc are not going to help you in any way. They make you look volatile, unstable and not an ideal job candidate. But remember; watch out for the subtle online behaviors that can also influence an employers view.
- Remove all photos and comments relating to negative behavior.
- Check your spelling and grammar, for a lot of employer’s bad grammar is worse than one or two bad photos. It shows a lock of written communication skills.
- No profanity, seriously none.
- Make sure your facts are consistent across all your social assets. Don’t just list everything on LinkedIn, check the facts, like time at each job etc… are the same across all your assets. Getting this wrong makes you look sloppy or even dishonest.
- Be careful how you use the words ‘I’ and ‘We’. Excessive use of ‘I’ suggests you have a huge ego and are not a team player.
Other Helpful Posts:
The 3 social media assets employers check most often are Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter. Start by cleaning those up first:
The look into how you can use them to improve your chances of finding a job:
- Using Twitter to Find a Job
- How to Use LinkedIn to find a Job
- The 6 Best LinkedIn Job Search Tips
- How to Turn Your Online Profile Into Job offers
Don’t forget about other seemingly benign assets like Google+ and Pinterest. Your Pinterest photos say a lot about who you are and what you aspire to:
And finally when all that is in place, make sure your resume is set up properly so that when you apply for jobs online your resume does not get rejected by the resume screening software most companies now use: