How To Prep Your Social Media Profiles For Your Job Hunt

Social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and follow your favorite celebrities.  More and more companies are using social media as a recruitment tool and are posting jobs to various social outlets.  Some larger organizations even have dedicated specific social profiles to their jobs postings: Pepsi (@PepsiCoJOBS), Disney (@TWDCjobs) and UPS (@UPSJobs) are just a few companies that are using social media (Twitter specifically) to recruit so they can attract and hire the best talent.  These efforts are clearly working too.  According to Market Wired:

  • 8 Million Americans credit Twitter as a source that led to their current job
  • 10.2 Million Americans credit LinkedIn as a source that led to their current job
  • 18.4 Million Americans credit Facebook as a source that led to their current job

As technology and social media grow, companies are more likely to become dependent on these outlets to find the talent they need.  Career transition and talent development consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison asked hundreds of job seekers via an online poll, “How active are you on social networking sites?”  Forty-eight percent said they’re very active on a daily basis.  “I was really excited to see how many job seekers are active on social media,” says Helene Cavalli, vice president of marketing at Lee Hecht Harrison. “As strong advocates, we spend a lot of time coaching job seekers on how to develop a solid social media strategy. While it isn’t the only strategy for finding a job, it’s becoming increasingly important.”

While job posting and hunting on social media seem to be a win-win for both companies and candidates alike, there are some pitfalls that come with it.  CareerBuilder conducted a survey that asked 2,303 hiring managers how they incorporate social media into their hiring process.  The survey concluded that 37% of employers use social media to screen potential job candidates.  34% of employers even said they have not hired a candidate based on content they have found on social media sites.  Obviously, it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, etc.  – all information they could potentially get from your social profiles.  However, these employers sited reasons they did not extend a job offer as being: the candidate displayed poor communication skills, they bad-mouthed a previous employer or they lied about their qualifications.

As a candidate looking for a job, you should assume that the potential employer is going to check in on your social media profiles.  If you enjoy posting duck-face selfies or pictures of you partying until the wee hours of the morning, we’re not here to judge!  However, there are very simple things you can to do prepare your social profiles for your job hunt so when that hiring manager checks up on you, you’ll be ready.

1.)    Keep Them Updated: If you’re looking for a job, your LinkedIn profile should be updated to reflect your most recent job history.  You don’t want an employer comparing your resume to your LinkedIn page and not have it match up.  And it should go without saying, but never lie on your resume or LinkedIn profile.  Social media makes it that much easier to catch you!

2.)    TMI: We said before, if you like posting selfies and party pictures, that’s you’re call.  However, we highly recommend keeping this to a minimum when job hunting.  That goes for any negative postings or rants too.  As previously mentioned, hiring managers have not offered certain candidates a job because of these types of posts.  So just don’t do them!

3.)    Security Settings: If you can’t hold yourself back from posting NSFW comments and pictures, make sure you have tight security settings on all your profiles.  Even if you have your profiles locked up tighter than Fort Knox, remember that most of the time, your profile picture will still be seen.  Make sure that picture is a nice representation of your professional self.

With so many companies turning to social media to help their recruiting efforts, it’s a great opportunity for job seekers to find that role they’ve always wanted.  Job hunting on social media can be a great resource for you…or could be the reason you don’t get that dream job.  It’s all in how you use it.  By simply cleaning up your profile or adding tighter security, you’re well on your way to passing that hiring manager’s social media test.

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Will Hayes
Will graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in International Business. His career at IDR cultivated in January 2008 in the Nashville branch as an IT Recruiter. His next two years were spent as an Account Manager growing IDR’s local portfolio and in June of 2010, he gathered his belongings, moved to Texas and began to manage our Dallas office. He is passionate in helping young leaders learn the IT staffing business and believes in his mission to always encourage others to get better. Will has a commitment to creating a positive and successful culture for all those who are around him.