You’ve refined your resume, landed an interview, and perfected your interview look… but there’s one more important step to landing your dream job: making sure your social media presence isn’t going to sabotage all your hard work! While this may be a relatively new concern in the working world, social media can be a make-or-break component of your job search.
We’ve got four things employers don’t want to see on your profile:
Employers want to see that you know how to communicate appropriately. When you post, make sure you use proper grammar. And it may be common sense, but avoid engaging in drama. If you wouldn’t have a conversation in the workplace, don’t have it on your public profile. The last thing you want is to lose out on a job opportunity because you couldn’t resist getting into an argument on Twitter.
While there isn’t a magic number for how often you should post, it’s no surprise that employers don’t want to see you posting all day long, especially during business hours. Keep the majority of your posts to morning or evening hours. An active social media presence isn’t necessarily considered a negative factor for employers, as long as you are using it wisely.
While you don’t need professional headshots for your Facebook, you should be mindful that your profile picture may be the first visual impression that potential employers get of you, so choose accordingly. Your outfit should be tasteful. Choose a photo that isn’t blurry, and ideally one in which you are easily identified - a photo of you with a group of friends probably isn’t ideal here.
While employers may not be surprised to see that your Facebook and other social sites are private, if you have a LinkedIn or other professional networking presence, you should make sure it’s complete. Signing up just to have a profile isn’t enough - leverage that profile to highlight your professional strengths, communication skills and educational achievements.
The Right Stuff
So we’ve talked about what to avoid on your social media; but there are also things you can do to make your profile work for you!
First, you can set up your profile so that you are asked to approve anything you are tagged in. This will allow you to curate your profile and avoid being inadvertently tagged in things that you’d rather not have an employer see. It’s always best to have an extra layer of protection rather than trust that none of your friends are going to have a lapse in judgement on girls’ night out!
Also, make sure you’re following the right people! I don’t just mean following the company you’re trying to work for: identify the leaders in the industry
you’re in, and follow them. Engage in conversations they’re having, and contribute thoughtfully. They’re the top minds in your field for a reason. You’ll be able to show employers that you’re actively engaged in improving your knowledge about your industry.