The party you went to on the weekend may have been an epic evening you won’t soon forget. The dozens of selfies with your best buddies that you snapped with your cell phone camera are proof of that.
But, do you want all that fun to come back to haunt you later when applying for a job?
The nasty truth is there’s a good chance that an inappropriate photo or comment you posted on your profile could cost you.
According to a CareerBuilder study, a staggering 70 per cent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring them, up from 60 per cent in 2016 and 11 per cent in 2006.
Employers aren’t just looking at your social media profiles, either. Sixty-nine per cent of employers are Googling you and your competition.
So, next time you even click “post,” “tweet” or “publish,” you will want to, and you should, take a few seconds to think about it.
If you’re thinking about deleting your social media presence, don’t. Fifty-seven per cent of employers are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find a potential employee online.
Of that group, 36 per cent of employers like to gather more information before calling a candidate for an interview, and 25 per cent expect candidates to have an online presence.
So, why are employers looking at social media profiles, anyway? When researching candidates for a job, employers who use social networking sites are looking for information that shows prospective employees have the right qualifications for the job and fit in with the company culture.
Are your online profiles professional? What are people saying about you online?
Having a positive online persona can certainly help you land that job you want. Did you know four out of 10 employers have found content on a social networking site that positively swayed them to hire a candidate?
Professional qualifications, great communication skills, a professional image, and creativity were the top qualities recruiters saw in social media profiles that left a positive impression, and ultimately led to hires.
Here are some tips to consider before your next job search that will help you present a professional social media presence that is sure to impress prospective employers.
1. Google, Bing, and Yahoo search yourself
You’ll want to visit each of the major search engines and type your name in quotation marks into the search bar. Don’t forget to try variations of your name, including your middle name and any nicknames you might go by. Be thorough in your search and do multiple checks because all these search engines use different methods to find their results.
If you happen to come across personal information such as your banking information or an inappropriate photo posted without your permission, you’ll want to contact the site owner and ask that content be removed from the page or the page be removed from the website. You may also need to contact the search engine to request removal.
2. Be mindful of what you post, and who you connect with
Is that a profile photo you wouldn’t be embarrassed for Grandma to see? Does that tweet make you sound like an intelligent and thoughtful person?
If you wouldn’t share that photo with your relatives or you know that comment might be considered improper, you shouldn’t post it. Anything you do post should highlight your interests and hobbies because it lets a potential employer know the kind of person you are.
You’ll also want to unfriend, unfollow and clean through your connections. If you have Facebook friends that post distasteful pictures or inappropriate comments on your page, you’ll want to get rid of them. The same goes for Twitter and Instagram. If there are certain organizations that you follow that may not cast you in the best light, find them and unfollow them.
3. Don’t forget to set privacy settings
It is a good idea to set your Facebook privacy settings to restrict who can access your information and photographs. Open or “friends of friends” profiles can be risky if there are things you would prefer to keep hidden from prospective employers. You’ll also want to consider privacy settings for any other social media platform you might use.
4. Stay active online but don’t go overboard either.
Do use social media to share information about yourself such as your work and what your interests are. By the same token, you don’t want to share, post and tweet 24/7. Posting too much can be a red flag for your current and future employers that you spend too much time on social media during working hours and you’re not doing your job to the best of your ability.
5. Have you landed a job? Don’t take a cavalier approach
Just because you have a job, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking of what you’re saying (or typing) online. More than half of employers (51 percent) use social media sites to research current employees. Thirty-four percent of employers have found content online that caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.
6. Don’t forget to use proper grammar
Before you hit the post button, take a minute to re-read what you’ve written to be sure you haven’t made a typo. When you take the extra time to do so, it makes you look more professional, and more likely to present clean and error-free work to a prospective employer.
Are you looking for work? Let one of our trusted and experienced staffing professionals help you – contact Employment Professionals Canada and learn how we can start working for you.