Before social media, employers primarily screened a job applicant based on the interview and what their previous employers and references had to say. Today, it’s a whole different story. Social media has allowed employers to peek into a job candidate’s professional and personal life.
Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allows employers to not only screen job applicants when they are considering the applicant for hire, but also prior to an interview and even when the individual hasn’t applied for a job. And here’s what employers are looking at on social media:
Personality and your passion can come through from the type of information you share as well as your comments towards other posts. For example, if you’re a professional in the IT space, employers are looking at how passionate you are about the latest technology, software updates, and gadgets coming out. Someone who’s sharing and talking about this type of information on social media clearly has a passion for the space.
Your qualification for the job.
Just because your resume indicates you have a certain amount of experience and skills doesn’t mean the employer will take your word for it. When they go on social media, they can see if your LinkedIn profile information matches up with what you have on your resume. Clearly it’s less likely you’d fib on LinkedIn when you have other contacts you know also looking at the information. Employers are also looking to see if there are any recommendations your previous supervisor, clients or colleagues have left that can offer insight to your character at work.
Professionalism comes through from your profile photo as well as the information you present with your profile. Make sure the profile photo you use on LinkedIn reflects how you’d present yourself at a job interview. And while Facebook and Twitter is commonly used more for personal activity, make sure it doesn’t present anything that would raise eyebrows. It’s not just about what you show through photos/videos, but everything from your tweets, status updates to comments on other posts. Also avoid having a profile that shows misspellings, incorrect grammar and profanity – it can all be looked upon negatively by the potential employer.
Your interest in the employer.
Just like individuals, companies are making their presence on social media with their own pages. When employers see you’ve liked or you’re following them, it leaves a more positive impression of you. It indicates to them that you’re a serious candidate who’s truly interested in working with them.
Sure it’s great to have many followers and contacts in your network, but you want to show they are primarily of people in your space of work and profession. Begin to build a network to include such people – to the potential employer looking at your profile, it’s telling them you’re someone of value in the field of work who’s well-connected. Don’t just randomly add any contact you can get to up your number of contacts on social media – it’s the relevant contacts who will count when employers look at your profile.
If there’s ever a doubt as to how social media can impact you as a job seeker, hopefully the information above has cleared it up.
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
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