By: Kaustov Kashyap
Social media today is, more than just about tweeting to your favourite celebrities or sharing photos from your high school or college days. It’s an important and powerful tool to promote yourself and make yourself look more appealing to potential job recruiters and employers. This means that one must be cautious about their activities on social media and ensure that they don’t post any offensive content that can hinder their chances of being hired.
What do recruiters look for on candidates’ social media profiles?
Generally, hiring managers look at a candidate’s social media profiles to get a better picture of their actual personality and to look more closely at them beyond what their resume suggests. Social media profiles of candidates also help employers to assess accurately if they will be the right fit for the company’s culture. Sometimes, the candidates fear that recruiters may find some harmful or embarrassing content on their social media and so they delete their account or online persona. However, this approach may not be a sound one, as it also makes them invisible to employers. Moreover, if you’re a regular user of social media platforms, there are a few dos and don’ts that you must take care to follow if you want recruiters to take you seriously and make sure that your skills and good qualities are not overshadowed by questionable social media activity.
The implications of posting such content could be extremely unfavourable for job seekers. In the worst possible case, you will not only gain a bad reputation among potential employers but also lose your current job depending on the severity of the issue. The number of people getting fired due to the misuse of social media is rising constantly. So, one must understand that while they are comfortable sharing intimate or seemingly embarrassing details of their personal lives on social media, employers take a very dim view of such behaviour from their prospective or current employees.
How to leverage social media for your professional branding?
For a job seeker, his/her social media profile plays the role of a branding tool, wherein it’s not just their personality, but also their skills that must be packaged well enough to draw the attention of recruiters. Maintaining the right balance between being professional and being yourself on social media can be tricky.
But keeping it professional doesn’t mean that one must dilute their personality and stop being their authentic self. Rather, job seekers should utilize each social media platform for its strengths and position themselves in a manner that appeals to employers who want a skilled person to fill a gap in the organization; while at the same time, allowing them to see that the candidate is someone who will fit in well with the rest of the team.
How to make a compelling social media profile?
Use a professional photograph or headshot on social media profiles. Make sure that your display picture on professional networking websites like LinkedIn and Google+ and even Facebook, is appropriate. Grainy or blurry pictures where your face is not easily visible can put recruiters off from going through the rest of your profile.
Create a consistent and accurate online persona
Maintain consistency across all social media platforms that you use, especially on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter which are among the most popular channels and also which recruiters usually check first when considering a candidate. Therefore, vital information such as educational qualifications, job experiences, and skills must be mentioned clearly and accurately on LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.
Talk about your skills and achievements
Highlight your professional achievements and skills, but not in a manner that seems boastful. Mention specific goals that you have met as part of your former job roles and back them up with numbers. Also, don’t take credit for anything that you haven’t done, as recruiters and employers are bound to find out if any of your claims are false or exaggerated.
Join career-relevant groups
There are several professional groups on social media where experienced individuals share industry-specific insights or which allow job seekers to connect. Recruiters also check how actively a candidate participates in professional discussions that take place in these groups. They often refer to these interactions to understand the extent of a candidate’s knowledge of their field and their ability to articulate concepts and ideas. Therefore, job seekers must make sure that they are well-versed with the latest developments and trends in their respective industries.
Even after they may have found a job, professionals must make sure that they don’t post any offensive or derogatory content, as many employers regularly check what their current employees are writing or sharing on social media. You may have heard from a friend or an acquaintance about someone in their organization being fired, or disciplined, for some objectionable social media activity. The above guidelines then will keep you from making any similar mistakes.