93% of employers say they will search your social media pages during the interview process. The most common ones are, not surprisingly, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, although they may look at other ones as well. What they find on your social media pages will in many cases be the first impression of what kind of person and candidate you are. With that in mind, here are some things you should consider doing on your social media accounts while you are looking for a new job.
Will you fit the corporate culture?
You may have all the right qualifications, but will you fit within their corporate culture? Your social profiles will tell an employer more about who you are as a person than your resume or questionnaire they may have had you fill out during the application process. Make sure that your social profiles portray you appropriately for any potential employers. On Facebook, check your privacy settings to make sure anything you don’t want an employer to see is visible to friends only.
Do you have the skills you say you do?
This is an area you can really use your social media accounts to your advantage. Are you an expert in a specific area? Showcase your expertise by writing articles on LinkedIn. Are you in a creative field? Showcase your work where an employer can see it. Make sure that tweets and other status updates are articulate and well thought out.
Employers are looking for reasons to hire you!
If a hiring manager is searching your social media profiles, it’s because they liked your resume and want to support their initial impression and find reasons to bring you in for an interview. With that said, there are things that will leave employers with a bad impression of you:
- Inappropriate photos and videos
- Posting about drinking and doing drugs
- Discriminatory comments about race, gender and religion
- Poor communication skills
- Bad mouthing a previous employer or a co-worker
- And if you think that you’re off the hook if you’re currently employed, think again. According to Business News Daily, 51% of employers use social networking sites to research current employees as well.
A few things that on the other hand will leave a good impression are:
- Being active on your account. Just signing up and leaving your accounts dormant will leave a bad impression. Your accounts should be well presented. You don’t have to spend hours on it, but at least post a few times a week, even if it’s just sharing relevant articles and posts.
- Connect with influencers, industry leaders and organizations in your field.
- Share relevant content. Show that you are on top of what’s going on in your industry.
- Use a professional profile picture and screen name.
When you’re applying for a job, maintaining a professional social media presence and brand can be the difference between getting a call back for an interview, or not. Employers do take the time to look at your online presence, so always assume when submitting a resume that someone will be looking at your social pages before deciding whether to call you back or not. Strategize to use them to your advantage and you’ll be a step ahead of your competition.