Written by Kimberley Startup | September 19, 2013
Job hunting can be a stressful process. Sending out endless applications, handling rejections and dealing with any current workplace frustrations is enough to drive anyone crazy.
However, with hiring managers conducting candidate screening via social media becoming more and more popular, Twitter and Facebook might not be the best places to vent your frustrations.
In fact, having a positive social media presence can even boost your chances of grabbing that all-important interview.
So why is it that some candidates, despite having the right skills and qualifications, are still falling at the first hurdle?
69% of employers have rejected candidates based on information seen on social media sites, according to a survey conducted by Reppler. Some of the reasons for rejection include inappropriate photos, controversial comments and, most commonly, lying about qualifications.
While there’s no reason to completely censor your life on social media for the sake of potential employers, it does help to be a bit savvy when updating your profile. After all, who knows who might be watching?
So how can you control your social media activity to give you the edge while job hunting?
Here are Webrecruit’s list of dos and don’ts to give your online presence a boost:
1. DO contribute – Tweet links to career-relevant articles or blogs. This shows potential employers that you’re passionate about what you do (or what you’d like to be doing).
2. DON’T vent about your current or previous job – This is a massive turn off for hiring managers; if you’re moaning about your current employer, who’s to say that you won’t do the same again?
3. DO have an active presence on relevant social media sites – Want a career in marketing? Have an active Twitter presence. Are you a designer? Pinterest boards are the perfect space to showcase your work and talents. And don’t forget that all-important LinkedIn profile.
4. DON’T use bad language or write incoherently – Swearing or using crude language is something that employers do not want associated with them or their brand. ‘Riting like dis’ also isn’t going to impress those who are looking for strong written communication skills.
5. DO adjust your privacy settings – If you think those drunken photos from last weekend are a little risqué, just imagine how they’ll look to your potential new boss. Whilst you shouldn’t have to de-tag yourself from anything remotely unprofessional, just adjust your privacy settings so you can control who sees what. However…
6. …DON’T choose an inappropriate profile photo on Facebook – Even if they can’t view your complete profile, employers will more than likely be able to see this. We all know that we have to be professional on LinkedIn but with more employers screening candidates on Facebook than any other social media platform, a decent snap will earn you brownie points.
7. DO follow and network with companies that you’d like to work for – Not only will this give you extra insight into what they do, what they’re passionate about and their company culture, it also shows enthusiasm that will set you apart from the competition.
8. DON’T lie about qualifications or experience – Make sure that your LinkedIn profile backs-up any experience, qualifications or skills that you’ve listed on your CV.
Although the thought of being ‘spied on’ by potential employers can seem a little daunting, all it takes is some common sense.
Put yourself in the shoes of your dream employer; does your profile look like someone they’d want to hire? And, most importantly, does your content reflect badly on you? When in doubt, set it to private.
Still on the lookout for that dream job? Why not register your CV with Webrecruit today by clicking here.