Dear Job Seeker,
Social media means different things to different people.
To employers, it gives them an insight into how you self-censor and conduct yourself in public. And trust me, employers are looking you up on social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter being the biggest ones. They want to ensure that you will represent their brand well.
Here are a few hints to keep yourself clean in the public eye:
- Lock down your Facebook page. There are a variety of privacy settings – if you have high privacy, you can still share posts and pictures with your friends but it alleviates the chance of an employer only seeing pics of you partying.
- Clean up your LinkedIn profile. Have a good head-shot of yourself (and not a pic from a decade ago – make sure it looks like you), smiling into the camera. This way you look inviting and approachable. No picture makes people nervous – what are you hiding? As well, no group shots (can’t tell exactly which one you are) and no sunglasses (because you aren’t so cool you gotta wear shades).
- Make sure that your twitter handle conveys the impression you want to give to the general public. For example, badboy41 or pinupgirl70 are only good if you want people to guess you are a bad boy or a pin-up girl. But if you are a job seeker, this probably isn’t the impression you want to leave with an employer.
- Have a professional email address that you use to communicate with employers. Romeo69@hotmail.com may be funny but employers aren’t going to be eager to accept your resume. Email addresses are free, generally, email@example.com is the easiest. Also, if an employer needs to search for your communication it makes it more likely for them to find you again.
Lastly, doing a social media dump (ie erasing all evidence of yourself) sounds like an easy way to clean things up, but I caution you against that. If an employer can’t find any existence of you online, they will conclude that what you were posting was inappropriate and move onto someone they can find.
While these aren’t surefire ways to get a job, it definitely helps your case when being looked at for an employment opportunity. Put your best foot forward.
Managing Director of Summerfield Staffing
Connecting job seekers with employers since 2001