When looking for a job, social media can both help you and potentially hurt you.
If you’re in the market for a new career and actively applying for jobs, it’s important to consider what your online presence says about you.
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees.
Social media has become another tool in the recruiter’s arsenal to verify a candidate’s information and to gather a better picture of the person they may choose to interview or hire.
So what can you do to make sure you look good on your social networks as you are looking for a new career opportunity? Try out these tips.
For job seekers and hiring managers, LinkedIn is the go-to platform. LinkedIn’s main function is to serve as a place for people to list their professional and educational experiences and accolades as well as connect with potential employers and colleagues. The social media networking site began in 2003 and has grown exponentially as nearly 93 percent of hiring managers search LinkedIn for recruits and use it to vet active candidates.
So, what are they looking for? The main thing employers look for on LinkedIn is an accurate and complete profile, so make sure dates are correct and that all pertinent work experience is listed, but don’t be too wordy.
Use bullet points or concise paragraphs to describe your experience.
Don’t forget to add volunteer and civic roles as well.
Employers also say it’s best to have a minimum of 300 connections, so beef up your network before beginning the job search.
Also important on LinkedIn is to have a professional picture – no selfies or group shots.
While LinkedIn is essentially a rolodex of working professionals, Facebook is the most popular and most accessed social media platform – with an estimated 2.27 billion active monthly users. Its function in peoples’ daily lives has evolved over the years and more and more Facebook is gaining traction as a viable place to find a job and as a viable database for recruiters.
Because of this change, jobseekers with active Facebook profiles should think about what they post on their personal page and how it may be perceived by a recruiter. Also, just like LinkedIn, if you want companies to find your profile on Facebook, consider adding past work history and professional skills to your “About” section.
If there are companies you are interested in, consider “following” them or liking their page. Hint hint. Be sure to LIKE The Lee Group!
This would also be a good time to perform a “Privacy Checkup” on your profile page. Facebook frequently updates its privacy settings, so take some time to understand who can see what on your page. To do this, click on the “?” icon at the top right of your home page and a drop-down menu will appear. From there, click “Privacy Checkup” and carefully review your current settings.
For the most part, employers access potential candidates’ social media accounts as a way to verify information and to get a better picture of who the candidate is and how he or she might “fit” with the company.
Does that mean you need to shut down all your personal accounts or turn them to private? No, quite the opposite. Surveyed employers say they expect candidates to have an online presence, and that if you don’t, it might suggest you have something to hide.
But if you are actively searching for a job, there are a few things to keep in mind. While employers aren’t typically searching social media to discredit a candidate, there are red flags. The following types of posts were the most likely to prevent someone from being hired: provocative or inappropriate photos or video, pictures of drinking or drug use, discriminatory comments about race, religion, gender, etc.
Social media is a great way to stay connected, and it can be a powerful tool to help you in your job search if used correctly.