At one time, being a job seeker who used social media had a negative connotation. Since Facebook started as a college resource, many students and potential job candidates were warned not to post too much about themselves (think: “party pictures”), as it could cost them a job opportunity.
But today, social media isn’t just about sharing fun photos and good times; it’s proven to be an integral part of the recruiting process.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, how can you make sure your social media profiles are ready to be viewed by potential employers?
- Make sure you have a solo picture of yourself in your profile. Many times on social media, people will have photos of themselves and their friends. But when you’re looking for a job, it’s important for recruiters and potential employers to know who they’re trying to recruit! If you’re among a group of people in a photo, that makes it difficult.
- Use proper grammar and spelling. Think about it. When you notice an error in spelling or grammar, it can be glaring. Snagajob reports that typos are one of the biggest reasons job candidates don’t receive a call back about a career opportunity. Run your sentences or resume through Spellcheck (or even by a proofreading friend) before sending.
- Stay apolitical. Not every employer or work colleague may share the same political views as you, so it’s important to remain neutral when it comes to politics, as not to alienate people. You want to seem like an employee who will be able to get along with a variety of people and work as a team member. (Unless, of course, you’re applying for a job with specific a political party or organization. Then, being biased is an asset!)
- Remove complaints about previous jobs. Some people have actually been fired from their jobs for posting negatively on Facebook. If you had a particularly tough time at a previous job and shared your experience on social media, you may want to consider deleting those posts.
- Pretend you’re sharing only what you’d want your family to see. A good rule of thumb when it comes to social media is simply thinking about your audience before you post. One audience to consider is your parents, grandparents or siblings. Would you want them to see what you’re posting? If not, than chances are you wouldn’t want job recruiters to see your post, either.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, by all means you should be on social media. It can be very helpful when presenting an accurate reflection of yourself to recruiters. You just want to make sure you present the best professional version of you.
Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm. In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels. P: 1(800) 801-1400 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.