What is Your Social Media Profile Telling Employers?
You’ve applied for the job, had the interview and had a smiling “hope to see you again” from the Hiring Manager.
You head home with a real spring in your step and a feeling that you might have this job in the bag. But then you get the call. “Sorry – you’ve been unsuccessful.”
What happened? It all went so well. Well, there’s something you might be overlooking – your social media profile.
What might have been some drunken fun a few months ago, could be your downfall when it comes to getting the job you want. Your ranting opinion on a social or political cause or the F-bombs you drop in your posts might be the one big cross you have against you.
Social media is your public face and, like it or not, Hiring Managers are using it to get an insight into what you’re like as a person. In fact, 93% of HR Managers we’ve surveyed admit that checking a candidates social media profile is now a basic part of the recruitment process.
While you may think that what you do in your personal time has nothing to do with how you might do a job, a potential employer might think otherwise.
You don’t have to like it, but you have to realise that it definitely can affect your chances.
Social Media Housekeeping for Job Hunting
If you’re trying hard to find a great job, we’d recommend that you spend some time doing a bit of housekeeping on your social media profile as well. Drunken photos, bad language and certainly drug use, or references to it, are a big no-no. Hiring Managers, may well equate that behaviour with how you’ll behave at the office Christmas party – and whether that exposes them to complaints or even law suits. Similarly, references to illegal activities, will stop any chances you have – for the same reasons.
Remember, they’re trying to ascertain what you’re like as a person – and how that translates to the workplace. In short, how you’ll fit in. This means that while there are things Hiring Managers don’t want to see, there is a lot they do and you can use your social pages to your advantage.
Having a great workplace culture is paramount to Hiring Managers. Finding the right fit means that people are likely to both do a better job and stay longer – and that’s a dream candidate to them.
Your Social Media Profile Tidy Up Checklist
So here are some time on what you might like to do to tidy up your online image for job hunting purposes.
- Do a check of your public facing social media sites – like Facebook and Instagram. Delete any photos of questionable behaviour, super-revealing shots, drunk party pics and certainly anything that looks like it might involve drug use.
- Check the language you use in your accounts. Delete swearing and language that makes you look less than professional.
- If you’re supporting movements against animal cruelty or coal mining – that’s fine. It’s great to have an opinion. But if you’re ranting against potential employers you might be doing yourself a disservice. Check to make sure you delete any of these.
- Change your settings. If you don’t want to delete any of your posts, and especially if you think that they could come back to bite you, make sure you have your settings on private. That way, no one can see them if they do check!
- Your profile picture. Sometimes, even with private settings, people will be able to see your current, or past, profile pics. Having pics with friends or out and about is fine. They don’t have to be corporate headshots! But make sure the don’t fit into the categories outlined above.
What Social Profiles should you have?
You don’t need to have to have a social media profile at all if you don’t want one. But, if you are looking for a professional role, it does pay to have both a JobGetter and a LinkedIn profile. Make sure you include things like your work history, your achievements at each job and any qualifications you have. You can also include awards and outside achievements as well.
A well-crafted paragraph or two about who you are and what you’re looking for won’t go astray either. Don’t be shy. Sing your own praises (but not in a boastful way) and tell people who you are and why you’re such a great catch!
Need help with your online profiles? Talk to us…
- Hints from HR: Ben Kazakoff, HR Manager, AHS Hospitality
- Tips for Grads: Graduate Advice from ANZ with Joanna Woods
- From Volunteering to Working in 5 Easy Steps
- Hints from HR: Chad Greenberg, HR Manager at Healthcare Australia
- Why Should We Hire You? – Super Tough Interview Question Tips and Samples