We’ve told you before – you need to monitor your social media before your future boss does. To prove our point, it’s estimated about 70% of employers screen their candidates’ pages before hiring. So today, we’re here to show you how to check all the right boxes and land the job.
LinkedIn is the first place employers look.
After reviewing your physical resume, most employers or recruiters head to your LinkedIn page to review your online presence. There’s a few things they expect to see.
- Pick a headshot. Try not to get nervous, but this is the *first impression* your boss will ever get of you. It’s best to choose a photo where you’re smiling, in an outfit you’d wear on the job, and definitely not one of these LinkedIn photo fails.
- Complete your profile. If you haven’t already, be thorough about filling in all the details. Remember to include your industry, prior work experience, career interests and references.
- Do an audit. Since most people post less than once a week on LinkedIn, there likely won’t be much content that needs cleaned up. Take a few minutes to remove any past posts that don’t represent your current goals.
- Invite friends to connect. A broad network makes a candidate more appealing for most social-oriented positions. Plus, who knows, those connections may open the door to even more job opportunities.
LinkedIn is your top social media resource, so think of it as an extension of your resume and another chance to highlight your skills. If you’re still in college, be sure to visit your Career Services Offices (it’s free) for their opinion on your page.
Facebook should be personal, but not too personal.
Employers want to see your passions and interests, and Facebook is a great platform to show them off. That said, this is probably your longest held account so it may take some time to do a thorough spring cleaning.
- Update your profile and cover pictures. Even with the maximum privacy settings, Facebook still displays your profile picture. Keep it tasteful and pick one that’s actually you.
- Check your About tab. Your “likes” are an obvious place employers look, so don’t scare them away with questionable band and movie selections. It’s also a good idea to “like” a few pages in your industry to show you’re passionate about the field.
- Do an audit. It’s safe to say most of us have matured a bit since 2008. Do yourself a favor and delete any posts or pictures you’ve outgrown – if you can find it, your potential boss can too.
- Show your personality. Social media lets you display your best qualities and nothing else. Take advantage of that and show what gets you excited whether it’s volunteering, networking, entrepreneurism or something else.
- Check your privacy settings. While it’s tempting to flip a switch and become a social media ghost, it won’t help you land the job. According to a recent study, 57 percent of employers are less likely to call you back in for an interview if you don’t have a social media presence. You can, however, limit the time range you’ll need to worry about by checking out Facebook’s guide to determine who can see your previous posts. It also doesn’t hurt to set old photo albums to “only friends” if you just can’t part with them.
Your goal on Facebook is highlighting your charismatic, well-rounded self. Keep it classy and it will only improve your chances of getting hired.
Your Twitter, Instagram and other pages need some love too.
We get it, these are your personal accounts, and potential employers get that too. If they do check your pages, what they’re looking to see is that you consistenly present yourself well. Focus on professionalism and maintaining solid grammar and communication skills.
- Set your profile photo. While it isn’t mandatory to use a formal headshot, do be mindful about choosing an appropriate image.
- Update your bio. Feel free to add some personality, wit or creativity, but, again, keep things clean and professional. Shy away from posting anything you wouldn’t be comfortable showing mom!
- Do an audit. It’s time to part with those photos from spring break and anything else that doesn’t come across as “hirable.” While you’re at it, be sure to skim through your recent “likes” and do the same.
- Check your privacy settings. Twitter and Instagram are more limiting when it comes to visibility. You can set your tweets to protected, and Instagram to private, but it’s still a small red flag for employers looking to learn more about you. Your best bet is to manually find any incriminating posts and delete them. However, if you aren’t confident you’ll catch everything, it’s better to restrict your settings.
There’s also major brownie points for following industry experts and engaging with their posts. This can be as little as reposting blog articles, press releases or other news in your field.
Check your Google search results.
Bet you weren’t expecting this one! You’ve searched the company you’re applying to on Google, right? You should…and there’s a good chance they’ll search for you too.
- Google yourself first. According to a recent survey, 75% of adults have done it. If there’s anything you see that you’d rather have forgotten, it’s usually easy to find it and take it down.
- Turn off Facebook search engine indexing. This will keep search engines, like Google, from caching your posts and displaying them. Follow Facebook’s instructions to deactivate the feature.
- Safeguard inappropriate tweets. If you did protect your tweets, it can take around a month for search engines that previously indexed them to update. If your interview is sooner than that, follow this guide on making Google remove links to old tweets.
Lastly, if you think you’re safe because you’ve got an anonymous social media profile or you used a different name, think again. Reverse search engines, like Google Images, make it easy to search for an image and discover who it belongs to. If you want to pull off an anonymous profile, you’ll need an anonymous picture as well.
These days, applying for a job is like giving a total stranger permission to stalk you online – remember to monitor your social media before someone else does.