In today’s digital age, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t use social media. For many, social media is a necessary tool for sharing photos, communicating with friends and family, and coordinating events. What many people don’t realize is that it’s also a necessary tool for employers during the hiring process. In fact, some employers will check your social media accounts to evaluate if you’re the “right fit” for their company.
To avoid being overlooked for a job because of your online presence, take the time before you start applying to avoid making the following three social media blunders:
Being non-existent on social media
While there may be times when disconnecting from social media is a good idea, not having any type of online presence may impact a prospective employer’s decision to bring you in for an interview. For example, LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional networking sites with more than 500 million members. As a result, this will often be the first stop that an employer will make to learn about your professional identity. Depending on your industry of expertise, being non-existent on other social media sites like Twitter or Instagram is one of the top social media blunders that can also hurt you as a prospective candidate.
If you are in the market for a new job, creating a profile that gives an employer a glimpse into your professional background is a great first step. In such a competitive job market, your ability to enhance your personal brand through marketing your skills and experience online will only help to improve your odds of landing a job.
Not being consistent
One of the biggest social media blunders you can make is having contradicting information listed across your various accounts as well as on your resume. For example, all of your employment dates, names of employers, and contact information should be consistent before you start applying for jobs. Not only can these social media blunders raise some red flags about your attention to detail, but they may lead hiring managers to question the accuracy of the information you provided. These are two things that can severely impact your ability to secure interviews.
Sharing inappropriate pictures, comments, or content
Social media is a great platform to express your personality and opinions on various topics, but it’s also important to consider how your activity could be misinterpreted without the right context. For starters, be sure to check your privacy settings to ensure only certain information is available online. For example, while you already know to stay away from posting (or being tagged) in things that include illegal drugs, extreme profanity, or excessive alcohol, you should also stay clear of status updates and tweets that could be misinterpreted by employers who haven't met you. Along similar lines, do not bad mouth current or former employers on social media. This will not only raise some red flags about your level of professionalism but also lead your prospective employer to think you could damage their reputation on social media.
About the Author:
Edward Fleischman is the CEO of The Execu|Search Group, a leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firm headquartered in New York City with additional offices throughout the U.S. With over three decades of experience, Edward regularly advises employers on strategic senior-level hiring, structuring of compensation packages, and human resources issues.
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