Social media is like Enrique Iglesias’ love song: one can run, one can hide but one can’t escape it!
Even as the EU standards for personal data become stricter, and the debate over hiring decisions based on social media gets louder, employers continue snooping around social profiles of candidates to make their hiring decisions. Some even go a couple of extra miles. They not only see social profiles of the candidates but also use search engines to check their digital presence.
According to a CareerBuilder survey this year, more than half of the employers who use social media platforms to research candidate profiles rejected candidates because of the content they found on their social networking websites. These contents included provocative photographs, videos, personal information, comments/opinions on religion, race, and gender and poor language.
One of the arguments against social media scanning is that most of the posts and comments on these websites are ‘personal and pun intended’. They should not be considered as a qualifying criterion for professional placement. Employers, however, these days look beyond paper qualification and most of the times, even more than what they list in the job advertisements. Through social media, they check communication skills, creativity, provocative behavior, as well as the discriminatory comments of the candidates. They also check if the candidates fit in with their corporate culture.
Social media has also become an essential marketing strategy for any business. Most of the companies offer jobs for the posts of social media managers, digital marketing head, and digital content promoters. That makes it even more important for job seekers to maintain a strong professional reputation on social media.
The good part is that it is not too difficult to make a great impression on social media platforms. With little touch-ups, it is quite easy not to flunk social media scanning. We have compiled some tips below to help you create a better social media persona.
1. Be present on relevant platforms:
Deleting profiles would be the easiest option to stay away from social media troubles; however, we live in an era of social media where companies are going creative with their job offers. McDonald’s last year invited snap chat applications for its summer jobs. So, staying away is no option. Maintaining profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is the least one can do. Be professional and update the profiles on these portals at frequent intervals.
2. Get personal professionally:
Even though it is called social media and not everything on it needs to be taken seriously, it is better to be professional when putting personal details, pictures, or comments. Mention your achievements, work experience and extracurricular activities that do not necessarily have to be the beer bong drinking games or your dancing skills at a party in Las Vegas!
3. Add your work samples and recommendations:
Social profiles are like a resume. Add your work experience and work samples highlighting your achievement, even if it may look a bit narcissist. Get recommendations/testimony, especially on sites like LinkedIn and other local professional networking websites. A social recommendation always makes a good impression on prospective employers.
4. Delete dormant accounts:
Google your name. The chances are that some of your old and long-forgotten profiles/accounts may pop up. Delete all your dormant accounts. You never know what the employers may come across when they Google your name.
5. Say no to grumpy picture and status:
Choose your best picture for social media. It does not mean a picture from your wedding or prom night album. It means a clear, smiling and professional photograph. Invest time to get a great headshot. For FB and Insta, one can still have snapshots from a friend’s party or share the witty posts as these are considered informal platforms. For Linkedin, however, the picture has to be as professional as your resume, or even more. Also remove grumpy comments on social profiles, especially against former employers/colleagues.
There are other tricks such as having customized ULR, joining career groups, that are great for the social media makeover. Keeping it simple, however, is a MUST!
In the comment box below, do let us know what is your trick to make a great impression on social media.