If you’re looking for a new job you probably know the importance of having a great resume, cover letter, and in-person presence. But what about your social media presence? Most employers will do their homework and will dive deep into your social media profiles as a way to get to know you. They may also be looking for red flags, or reasons not to hire you. As a professional networking and career site, LinkedIn is an obvious resource for employers. However, they are also likely to comb through your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
When a company is considering hiring you, will your social profiles tell them that you’re a good cultural fit, or will they be an illustration of why they shouldn’t hire you? An otherwise excellent candidate may not receive a job offer because of inappropriate photos, evidence of drinking or drug use, poor communication skills, discriminatory comments, or negative comments about employers or colleagues.
When you’re posting or commenting on social media, you should avoid:
Complaining about your current or past job: Complaining, in general, does not paint you in a positive light. You want to show potential employers that you’re a positive person who doesn’t blame other people or situations. Make sure that your social media history doesn’t include complaints about your job, colleagues, or employer.
Posting about your job offer: If you received a job offer, don’t post it in a social media update. Doing so may mean you’re breaking confidentiality. If an employer thinks you can’t respect confidentiality, you may find your offer revoked.
Using casual language: Correct grammar and sentence structure will be expected if you’re applying to professional roles. Make sure your social media posts don’t include typos or overly informal language.
Divisive comments: It can be tempting to weigh in on hot-button issues like politics and religion. Doing so can offend potential employers and cost you your job. Don’t post comments or jokes associated with any sensitive topics.
Posting inappropriate photos: Social media is no place for photos of your weekend parties if they involve alcohol or drugs. Employers may view these photos and think you’re irresponsible and will jeopardize their public image.
When potential employers Google your name, you want to make sure they see you as a responsible professional. Sharing photos of your volunteer efforts and hobbies is a great way to show a more human side to your professional persona. You want viewers to see the same smiling and confident face on whichever social site they end up on.
Using your social media accounts thoughtfully is a great way to give potential employers a fuller picture of you. It’s your chance to highlight accomplishments and interests that might not be on your resume. Your social media profiles are your opportunity to build your personal brand. Use it to help convince employers that you’re their candidate of choice.