Your Social Media Footprint: What Impact Does It Have When Searching for Your Next Job?

As a job seeker, you may use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as resources to learn more about companies to which you plan to apply to help fine-tune your resume and cover letters to fit the tone of each organization. As you plan to launch your next job search, you may find yourself wondering: does social media help or hurt job opportunities?

Have no doubt that hiring managers will research your social media presence. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report shared CareerBuilder’s report that screening candidates based on social media was at an all-time high of 70%, which means you need to make sure your social footprint is clear and ready for review.

How does your social media presence measure up?

Do You Need to Do Some Social Media Housekeeping Before HR Professionals Take a Closer Look?

Before you send out your first resume and cover letter, take a moment to consider your social media presence.

Here are a few things you should know and take care of to ensure social media success before you hit the “submit” button to get the process started with your dream employers.

The Lack of Self-Control in Personal Posts Can Make a Bad Impression

Many people may think that their social media account, whether Facebook or LinkedIn, is theirs to do with what they please. Of course, anyone can post what they want, but it is natural for people—especially people for whom you would like to work—to form opinions based on those posts.

Here are a few things that have caused hiring professionals to reject candidates:

  • Inappropriate or provocative posts
  • Posts and photos focused on using drugs and drinking
  • Discriminatory posts regarding race, gender or religion
  • Negative posts about previous employers and colleagues
  • Lying about qualifications and job history
  • Poor grammar and communication skills
  • Suggestions of past or present criminal behavior
  • Sharing details about a current job offer
  • Using texting language and emojis

If you know that you have any of these types of posts on any of your social media platforms, it is time to go in for a cleanup before prospective employers know who you are. Nearly everyone makes mistakes in posting certain types of the above-listed content, but you still have time to get your social media house in order.

Having No Social Media Presence Can Have Negative Implications

According to a report from CareerBuilder, via the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 35% of employers are less likely to interview candidates they cannot find online.

Here are a few reasons that employers have given for their hesitation in proceeding with candidates with little or no social media activity, per FlexJobs:

  • Candidate is hiding something about their personal life or past work experience
  • Candidate is not social media savvy in an increasingly technologically-driven business landscape
  • Candidate does not care enough to tend to social media for self-marketing and to employers get to know them more easily

Take some time to build your LinkedIn account and one other social media platform that appeals to you to get started. Fill in your basic profile information, upload a current photograph, import your resume and respond to some posts.

Reconsider Your Approach

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