In today’s job market, companies aren’t just looking at your resume when you’re applying for jobs. Many of them are also doing Google searches of your name, and seeking out your social media profiles. More than ever, it’s important to remember that whatever you put online is not considered private, and to post accordingly.
However, more and more people are finding their jobs on social media as well. Social recruiting is a growing trend, relying on the digital word of mouth workplace that social networks provide.
Here are some tips to keep in mind about social media during your application process:
1) Know What Recruiters are Looking For
According to a 2015 survey from Jobvite, 92 percent of recruiters use social media as part of their recruiting process. Primarily, recruiters are looking at LinkedIN because it’s business-oriented, but many also check out their applicants on Facebook and Twitter. Before you get too nervous, though, consider this: most recruiters are not looking for reasons not to hire you. Instead, they’re checking specific factors that are important in the hiring process:
- Length of time you’ve been in your current job, and past jobs
- Information about volunteer work and community involvement
- Appropriate engagement with current events
- Shared connections/acquaintances in common
However, the Jobvite survey has some great advice on what not to post on a public social media profile:
- Pictures involving alcohol and marijuana consumption
- Inflammatory statements where you pick a fight with your followers
- If you’re in communications or marketing, you should an active social media presence
2) When Possible, Make Your Profile Private
Most social media networks let you decide how much information you share with people who are not your friends or aren’t following you. This is easiest with Facebook, which lets you choose the privacy setting of your entire profile, and also each individual post. However, other social networks have similar options: on Instagram, you can enable a privacy setting so that no one can follow you without first obtaining your permission.
Although it’s not a completely failsafe option, making sure your profiles is definitely recommended, especially if you like to post pictures or posts about your personal life. Just remember that if someone is the friend with one of your friends they still may be able to see pictures of you and that friend together.
3) Consider Having Separate Personal and Professional Accounts
It may be harder to keep them straight, but if you want to be sure you have an active social media account that companies can review – and you hope they do – consider having two accounts. You can use one to post the kinds of things your friends would find boring that is easy to find using your name and tied to your professional email address. You can another one using a nickname or part of your name to post those funny and not-very-flattering pictures of you on the roller coaster at Disneyland.
4) Applying for Jobs on Social Media
There are many ways to look for jobs on social media, most of which depend on the platform you’re using.
- On LinkedIN, you can specifically search for jobs; you can also join groups associated with your industry. Many professionals post jobs in these groups
- On Google Plus, you can join communities according to your interests and industry and search for job postings there
- On Twitter, Instagram, Google and even Facebook to some extent, you can search for jobs using specific hash tags, such as #jobs #jobsUSA, or several hash tags, such as #tech #jobs.
As social media continues to become a growing presence in our lives, it’s natural for our online personas to become part of the job application process. By becoming familiar with the ways to use social networks when applying for a job, you’ll be more likely to land the position you’re looking for.