As a job candidate, you need to consistently put your best foot forward to ensure hiring managers see you as their next new hire.
And that includes your social media footprint.
Today’s hiring managers are looking at your social media sites just as thoroughly as your resume or cover letter. In fact, a recent survey showed that close to 50% of hiring managers say they use social media to learn more about potential candidates. The number of employers using social media to screen job seekers increased by 500% during the last decade. And one in three potential employers has rejected candidates based on something they found out about them online.
If you’re like most job seekers, you’ve likely posted a tweet or photo you wish you hadn’t. But don’t despair, ensuring a professional online image doesn’t mean changing your personality or deleting all of your accounts. Follow these three tips to help you project your best online image – and keep you in the mix for that next great job offer.
1. Revisit your Social Media Profile
It’s a good idea to clean up your Facebook and Instagram profiles or make them private. Add skills and/or recommendations to your professional social media profiles and be sure to use keywords so your profile is easily searchable. While the fear of something embarrassing or negative being discovered by a potential employer might tempt a job candidate to completely erase their online persona, don’t do it! Many employers say that strategy can backfire – with an increasing number of hiring managers and HR professionals saying they won’t call a job seeker for an interview if they can’t find them online.
2. Be Who you Say you Are
In terms of your professional background and accomplishments, honesty is the best policy. When potential employers see how your background information supports your qualifications for the job, you increase your chances of being hired. Many hiring companies are able to validate a candidate’s experience by checking him or her out on social media, so make sure your LinkedIn and other social network profiles are consistent and match your resume.
3. Include Great References
Many companies say they like seeing references posted about a candidate. Unsolicited or nonreciprocal recommendations are powerful. LinkedIn allows you to display recommendations within your profile, so be sure to ask a boss or customer to write one for you. You can make it even easier for them when you provide suggestions or key points you believe are worth mentioning. Lastly, don’t forget to post any awards or accolades you’ve acquired. A wide range of employers say that proof of such recognition can work in the candidates’ favor.
The Last Word
With many hiring companies checking out a candidate’s social media presence – often before an initial interview – a professional image online is as important as a physical one. What you say or do online is a direct reflection of how you’re perceived. Not everything is private or personal, so follow the above suggestions to ensure your online perception helps you get hired!
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Our team of professionals is ready to work with you to help land that next great career position.