Is your social media profile helping or hindering your job search?
The rise of social media has been transformational for society. In the digital age of today, most of us are guilty of cyber-stalking any individual who so much as brushes past our life to get an insight into who they really are. It’s no surprise that the use of social media now extends beyond our personal lives into our professional ones - in fact, it’s hard to imagine the modern business environment without it.
According to the latest figures, an incredible 92% of employers now claim to use social media platforms in their search for potential candidates. As it stands, no regulations are currently in place to govern what information companies may use to base their decision for hiring on. So, regardless of how much time and effort have been put into your covering letter and resumé, just one drunken selfie or political rant could see your chances of landing that dream job decimated. With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to spring clean your social media and determine what aspects will help or hinder your search.
Consider your content
Employers understand that your social profiles are personal platforms and don’t expect you to put every post through the ‘what would my Grandma think?’ filter. However, while it’s perfectly acceptable to be yourself and express your views online, it may be wise to consider what a prospective boss may think of your posts should they come across them. It’s a case of using common sense: if your Facebook is a gallery of unsavoury photos and your Twitter reads worse than Donald Trump’s, consider the impression it gives off. It is possible to be professional while being truthful to yourself - you just have to strike the right balance.
Show your passion
Social networking sites can be a powerful tool for job seekers in the digital age. If you are looking to apply for a particular role or career, your social profiles will serve as a showcase of your expertise and interest in this area. Engaging posts on hot topics in your chosen field will demonstrate to an employer your knowledge and commitment outside of your covering letter, giving you an edge over the competition. But remember, honesty is the best policy. There’s no use in faking an interest in a certain subject online to gain credibility, and getting caught out by a prospective boss will only leave you red-faced.
Check your privacy
Most social media sites come with comprehensive privacy settings which allow you to control exactly what information outsiders can see. Adjusting your privacy settings on Facebook and Twitter could help you to cut corners in your clean-up and promote a more neutral approach from a potential employer, but bear in mind that you may be alone in doing so. Given five candidates - four boasting impressive online presences and one showing no trace of a digital footprint - managers will naturally be inclined to trust those providing a closer look. Ideally, you should be as visible as possible during a job search. If each of your social profiles is inaccessible, you may wrongly give off the impression that you have something to hide - even if what you’re hiding is just cat photos and angry Tweets about commuters.