6 Essential Tips Job Seekers Need to Know About Social Media
In today’s environment, we can all agree that just about everyone we know either has a social media presence by personal affiliation, or has been brought into the social media environment through others. With that thought in mind, It’s almost safe to say that at some point in time, we’ve all been placed in some sort of social media environment whether we were conscious of it or not. While most people don’t care about their social media image, current professionals and potential job seekers need to be extremely careful of how they are presented in the social media world. Because information is so freely spread across the World Wide Web (yes, that still exists), it is imperative to ensure that one’s presence reflects a profile that would impress others, not make them want to look the other way.
With the extremely competitive environment in our workforce, employers have an advantage over potential employees by having a wide selection of candidates to pick from. That’s good news for companies, but terrible news for job seekers who are already struggling to find jobs. A bad social media profile can be the difference between getting hired, and getting passed up by someone with the same qualifications, maybe even lower ones simply for having a clean social media profile.
So what constitutes a bad profile?
1. Trash Talking
Nobody looks more unattractive than the person who constantly complains about their co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses, and peers. Employers will see you as inconsiderate, rude, and probably unfriendly to work with. They don’t want to have a bad feeling that you might bad-mouth them too if something doesn’t go your way at work. Anything racist, sexist, hateful, or even intolerant will immediately give employers red flags marking you unemployable.
2. Explicit and Inappropriate Images/Videos
The problem with saying anything on social media is that once you post something, it can never be 100% deleted. Even if you delete it from your profile, chances are Facebook, Twitter, and now even Snapchat still have a record of it. Let that sink in, and ponder about everything you’ve ever posted online. Just know it still exists somewhere on the internet. What would you do if your potential employer found it? Consider that opportunity goodbye, and you can thank your friends who recorded you streaking down the streets of Tennessee during that weekend in Nashville you still don’t remember anything about. search your name on Google to see what comes up about you. I searched mine, and the only thing that shows up is my professional image.
3. Practice Grammar and Spelling
Granted nobody likes a Grammar Nazi, but what people like even less is someone who can’t take the extra 2 seconds to distinguish words like “your” and “you’re”, “it’s” and “its” and many more but I’m sure you get the point. Look at it from the perspective of an employer who may have you do administrative work at some point in time. What good are you as an employee if you can’t figure out the difference between such basic words in the English dictionary?
The point is to give employers some proof that you actually have some sort of education. Luckily, platforms like Facebook now have editing options to allow you to change something in case you missed it the first time around. The downside of this is that anyone can view the edited versions on Facebook, allowing them to see exactly what changes you made. A good rule of thumb is that if you aren’t sure whether to keep it or delete it, then delete it because anyone else won’t give it a second thought.
This isn’t TNT, so nobody needs to know your drama. Word of the wise, no one probably cares anyway except people who are bored at home or work and have nothing else to do. If you have a professional job, or are trying to enter the workforce, arguments, fights, unfriendly engagements, and drastic actions are no where near what should be on your profile. Instead focus on the good things you are doing, and promote yourself in a personal way that reflects your most golden intentions to your prospective employers like volunteering, or doing community service.
Update your LinkedIn as this profile is probably the most important one you will need in the workplace. Add some recent achievements, your education, and even transferable skills for employers to see that you can do much more than what your resume shows. Keep in mind, these profiles should be complimentary to your resume, so don’t copy and paste everything on to your LinkedIn. It might also be worth investing in LinkedIn Premium as they offer a wider variety of tools that are crucial to Job Seekers. Not to toot my own horn, but that’s how I found both my jobs (at once).
6. Change Your Privacy Settings , Profile Picture and Cover Photo
This can’t be stressed enough and I see it happen every time. Someone changes their privacy settings to what they believe is ‘secure’, and then still manage to have some sort of content reflect them in a negative way. While you may be able to change the way people interact with you and include you in the social conversation, you have to keep in mind that your profile picture as well as your cover photos are public meaning anyone can see them when they search your name. Another thing to note is that Facebook no longer allows you to hide from timeline searches. So if you have a profile picture of you with a beer, and/or a cover photo with slang, profanity, or pictures of pinup girls/boys (whatever you’re into), you can almost guarantee they will skip you in a heartbeat and move on to the next candidate because employers simply have too many applicants to go through and not enough time to give you a second chance.
There’s so many things to do before landing an interview let alone a job, but if you have any other questions on how I can help you, please feel free to leave a comment or tweet us at @BoxlessMedia.