In today’s digital age, it seems inevitable that your online presence could affect your job hunt. But... to what extent? Our experts acknowledge that allowing social media to influence hiring decisions can be a slippery slope, but that doesn’t mean that the content shared on these platforms doesn’t come into play. Read on for expert advice on how to tailor your online presence to your benefit while you’re looking for jobs.
Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., shares, “Often, employers are not formally checking personal social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as this can lead to a legal slippery slope around the invasion of privacy and discrimination. They may check professional social media sites like LinkedIn, but that’s more to verify that your work history is accurate, etc. If a recruiter or hiring manager does, on their own, check out your personal social media sites, they are typically scanning for anything that would speak to your character, like inappropriate behavior or posting negative things about previous employers and co-workers. As long as your social media profile does not contradict the way you present yourself to a potential employer, you should have no worries.” More from Steve
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., offers, “At my company, recruiters do not actively search out and review candidates’ social media pages. However, there may be some employers who do, so having a reputable social media presence is something to always strive for. I like to use the news test… would I be badly represented if this was the front-page story on the news? If that would reflect poorly for me, why is it splashed all over my social media? And vice versa, are the awesome things about me represented in my social spaces? Are my interests, volunteerism, community, and uniqueness well represented?” More from Stephanie
Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., says, “It’s always a good idea to revisit your privacy settings on social media when you’re beginning a job search. You probably don’t want the picture of you as the life of the party popping up to potential employers. That being said, the skills obtained by planning and organizing events, even social events, is a transferable skill. Many employers look for candidates that are able to translate passion into action, whether it is volunteer or paid. Take into account the company and role you are pursuing and tailor your digital presence to the values of a potential employer. This process may also help you decide if you are a good fit for the culture of the organization.” More from Stuart
Promoting Your Personal Brand
Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., shares about using social media as a platform to highlight your individual strengths and goals. She says, “I would consider your LinkedIn profile (and for that matter, all of your public social profiles) to be part of your personal brand. What does the information it highlights say about you to a potential employer? Utilize the description of yourself on LinkedIn to talk about your interests and what you are using the platform to accomplish. The words you use become part of keyword searches for recruiters, so craft a message that is in line with the outcome you’re seeking. Ask a friend or colleague to look over your social media profiles if you feel concerned about what a potential employer is viewing. Last but not least, I do think that being yourself is a strong part of personal brand development, so don't lose sight of that!” More from Stephanie
We echo Stephanie’s conviction that you should always be yourself! You’ll be happier, more successful, and more at home in a position that lines up with who you are and what you care about. Using your social media platforms to present yourself in an authentic but professional way can help you on your way to becoming happily hired.