Social media is the platform to showcase your personal brand to the world and companies are looking before you get to the interview. Online social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great tools for networking and finding a job.
Why are companies researching my online social media presence?
When considering new prospects for a job within a company, hiring managers are taking the time to research each potential employees social media presence for two reasons. First they want to make sure that you aren’t posting anything offensive or inappropriate. Second, companies want to see if you fit into their work culture.
Companies want to know who their brand is associated with, so if you want to find a good job that aligns with your personal brand then you may want to avoid these social media #failures.
What NOT to do on Social Media
#1 Don’t forget to set your settings to private
Make sure that you set your settings to private so that only friends can see images and posts on your wall. This is one way to protect yourself from having embarrassing images show up as a potential employer is researching your social media accounts.
It’s a good idea to scroll through your feed and clean up any images that friends have shared of you that might not have the privacy setting on.
Also be careful of what you share on social media in general. You never know who will be looking at your profile or if you have a mutual friend in common that will share your Facebook page. It’s better to be wise with what you share with the world.
#2 Don’t confuse your social media personas
Facebook and Instagram are known to be a place to connect with friends. So seeing a picture of you with your friends or family in a cover photo or profile picture won’t be a reason to not hire you (although we don’t recommend you use those pictures for your cover/profile pictures see #3), since Facebook and Instagram are places to share your adventures. However, if you take the same beach photo as your LinkedIn profile, the hiring manager is likely to dismiss you as not taking business seriously.
#3 Don’t show off your precious baby, your bikini, or you having a “great” time at a party
So what should you profile picture have . . .
A business casual photo is appropriate on your LinkedIn profile and other social media profile pictures should have a clear photo of your face and dressed in casual attire. Especially if you are applying for jobs it’s very important that you think of your social media as your brand. Potential employers are trying to get an idea of who you are . . .
Remember you are making a first impression!
#4 Don’t share ALL your feelings about your current job, lack of job, desire for a job
You don’t want potential employers to see you as being totally desperate for a job. And you should maybe not share how much you hate your current job, boss, or other employees at your work.
Someone will find those comments and it could be potential employers or your current employer. You don’t want to lose your job over a negative attitude about work before you have a new position.
#5 Don’t be offensive or inappropriate
Are you an HR nightmare with your comments? Writing comments that are offensive or inappropriate like bullying, sexually inappropriate, racist, etc. will hurt your chances of finding a job.
It’s best to be sensitive to “hot topics” even if you aren’t making an offensive comment. You never know what a friend might say in the comments of your post and that could reflect poorly on you as well.
Your social media accounts are a way to connect and network with people. In the business world networking online is often the first impression you will make with others before you meet them in real life. Be strategic with your social media accounts and use them to help establish yourself as a person that would fit in well with the company you want to work with.