You think that the way your Facebook and Twitter profiles look like is not important for the hiring manager who is reviewing your job application? You’re wrong! Employers are no longer limited to the resume, cover letter, and recommendation letters. They have access to much more information that reveals your character and interests. Why would you think they won’t benefit from it?
Emily Asher, the Head of Freelance HR Department of Australian Writings Pty Ltd who recruits employees to compare and analyze writing services, explains why it’s important for job seekers to pay attention to their social media accounts. “Most applicants make sure to polish out their LinkedIn profiles, and that’s great,” – she explains. “However, they forget about the fact that their presence on all other social networks is visible to us. I always check Facebook and Google+ to see how our potential employees manage daily, casual communication.”
Bottom line, you can’t highlight your communication skills in the resume and leave all improper status updates and comments on your Facebook page. In the continuation, you’ll find valuable tips on how to improve the appearance of your social media accounts.
1. See what Google has on you
The hiring process starts with the resume and continues with Google. You don’t want things to end there. “Job seekers may polish out Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but they forget about MySpace, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, LiveJournal, and all other sites they’ve been present on,” – Asher says. “When you google someone’s name, you can find visible information that dates years back. Yes, even that can make an important impression for a hiring manager.”
Google yourself before your employer does. You need to hide or delete inappropriate findings. Name_Ck is a great tool that enables you to see all the pages you’re registered on.
2. Provide enough information in the bio
You can provide information about your personal and professional experience in the bio section on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Instagram also enables you to complete a bio. Don’t neglect this opportunity.
The 2014 Social Recruiting Survey published by Jobvite provides valuable results: 93% of hiring managers review the social profiles of a candidate before making a call for an interview. 55% of them have reconsidered their impression of a candidate after they see that information. Over 60% of those reconsiderations were negative.
This can mean only one thing: your profile must complement the resume. Complete the bio with accurate information. Writing that you’re from Jupiter in your Facebook bio is not as funny as you think.
3. Think about the email address visible on social media profiles
You registered on Facebook as firstname.lastname@example.org and you left that address visible? Does this even need an explanation? First of all, hotmail and aol are no longer considered to be respectable email providers. Even yahoo is not a good choice.
Register an email address with gmail and make sure it looks respectable. It should contain your name in a clear form. It would be best not to add numbers. If you can register a form of your name.surname or surname.name, then go for it.
4. Grammar is important
You think using your instead of you’re is not a big deal? Think again! No one wants an illiterate employee in their team. This is not the type of mistake you would make when writing in a hurry if you had the basic knowledge of grammar, so don’t try to think of excuses.
When a hiring manager sees that you didn’t bother writing solid sentences on Facebook, Twitter and other networks, you can rest assured that your resume will be tossed away.
5. Take all offensive content down
If a potential employer sees that your social media pages are full of offensive updates regarding someone else’s religious, sexual, or political affiliations, you can’t expect to leave a good impression. Even if the hiring manager agrees with your opinions, he won’t like having an ‘opinionated’ member in the team. Offensive attitude doesn’t present you as a team player.
Stay cool and make sure to leave an impression of a person who can tolerate people with other preferences and opinions. It’s okay to present an opinion that shows you as someone with a stand, but make sure your updates are not full of judgment.
6. Remember privacy settings? Use them!
Facebook gives you an option to decide what you want users who are not your friends to see. Open your profile and choose the View As option. This will give you access to your public profile, which is visible to any Facebook user. Scroll through the timeline and don’t forget to check what you posted during your yearly years on the social network. You’ll probably want to delete some of that content, or at least make it private.
Clean up the profile from inappropriate content, but make sure to leave something for a potential employer to see. Think strategically: when someone is curious about your personality, show yourself in the best light.
7. Clean up the photos!
We don’t live in a perfect world where appearance and visual impression don’t matter. If a hiring manager sees photos of your drunken nights out, where your hair looks messy and your clothes trashy, you can’t hope for him to say “it doesn’t matter, this is his/her private life and the photo is from 5 years ago.”
Everything the recruiter sees is important. Remove all photos that present you in a way you don’t want a potential employer to see.
Your Online Presence Is Visible and Important!
You thought your days spent on MySpace are no longer important? You were just a college student with free time on your hands, so you posted some updates you’re not proud of. As it turns out, that content can change the positive impression a hiring manager had after seeing your resume.
Nothing you post on the Internet is absolutely private. If you left it public, then anyone can see it. You have to do whatever you can to improve the appearance of your online presence and leave an impression as someone any employer would love to have in the team.