Social media can be great for so many things – a place to vent, share photos with your friends and keep up to date with the latest news. What’s not to like?
Where it tends to fall down is when it comes to your job search. While it may seem like a great idea at the time to post drunken university photos or strong-worded statuses, recruiters may not look so favourably on them.
In fact, according to a recent survey by Reppler, seven out of ten recruiters actually reject candidates based on their social media content, highlighting just how important it is to make them recruiter-friendly.
But with so much already to think about when it comes to social media – like disabling Twitter autoplay or keeping on top of Facebook’s privacy settings – it can be easy to overlook how important your online persona actually is when searching for a job.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! Dakota Murphey has put together this post sharing tips for making your social media platforms more recruiter friendly.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t be doing on social media, to boost your employability.
1: Remove offensive material.
The first question you need to ask yourself is – if you were an employer looking at your profile, how would you feel? If you have photos of you planking in various locations from 2012, for example, it may be time to get rid of them. Likewise, if you have any especially bad university drinking photos publicly available, they will only make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.
It’s not just photos you need to think about either – employers will also look at the past statuses you’ve shared as well. Look back through the posts you’ve published, and remove any which use offensive language, relate to illegal activity, or just downright make you cringe. Likewise, while it may be tempting to keep any hilarious frapes for the memories, they could only hinder your chances of getting your dream job.
Think about what you post.
Once you’ve sorted your profile out, don’t fall back into the same routine by posting more offensive material. You need to think about what you are publishing, and avoid coming across overly negative or opinionated.
While it’s perfectly fine to have an opinion, constantly publishing status after status about certain hot-topics will only make it come across like you’re a bit of a loose cannon. As such, it could make employers question whether you’d be a disruptive influence in the workplace.
Don’t give them that luxury – think about what you’re posting and avoid sharing content too regularly.
Utilise privacy settings.
Nearly all the social media platforms now have privacy settings you can adjust on a person-by-person basis. Make the most of having this option; when you share a new post, alter the settings so that only your friends can see it, rather than the entire public.
Do this with your previous photos, videos and statuses as well – your potential recruiter will only be able to see what is made publicly available to them. Keep anything you don’t want them to see behind closed doors.
Emphasise how hireable you are.
Your social media profiles should convince recruiters to hire you, rather than deter them. The best way to do this is by making sure they match your CV and emphasise any particular skills you have, or experiences you’ve done.
If you talk in your cover letter about a particular gap year experience you’ve had, for example, make sure you have photos available that corroborate your story. Also, if you have done any work that you’re particularly proud of, share it and make it easier for recruiters to come across.
Think about who you follow.
It’s all well and good having the perfect social media profile, but if you follow the wrong people or organisations, you could shoot yourself in the foot. While it may be fine to support what you believe in, recruiters may not look too fondly on your application if you follow people or organisations that disagree with their working environment.
For example, if you retweet a Donald Trump status or show your support for a controversial campaign, you could come across badly to recruiters. Make sure you don’t annoy them before they’ve even had the chance to meet you.
There you have it – five effective methods to clean up your social media profiles for employers.
The most important thing is to really think about what it is you’re posting, and carefully consider how it comes across. If it’s at all risky, don’t do it. But if it adds to your employability, then do – it all comes down to common sense.
One thing’s for certain though, make sure you remove those planking photos. Nobody liked them – even when they were a thing.
Dakota Murphey has more than a decade of experience in a range of HR and Marketing roles. Since becoming a full-time mum, she enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge through her writing and connecting with like-minded professionals. Follow her on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey
Here at graduate Coach, we offer one-to-one career coaching, interview training, online courses and books.