Using Social Media the Right Way in Your Job Search

August 22, 2017

By Joe Donahue, President of Micro Tech Staffing Group

The last thing you want to think about on a night out with your friends is work. But what if that party photo your friend tagged you in on Facebook over the weekend is the one thing that prevented you from securing your next job? For many job seekers, social media is both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, social media platforms offer a new approach to the job hunt, providing new and innovative ways for recruiters and job seekers to connect. But on the other hand, even a single negative social media post can easily be a candidate’s downfall.

You are being watched

According to Jobvite, 93 percent of hiring managers review candidates’ profiles prior to making a hiring decision. According to their poll, 54 percent of hiring managers have decided to not hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. Many employers even make it a habit to continue reviewing profiles after hiring to ensure employee profiles still align with company values. Another thing to consider: it now goes beyond covering up a little online bad behavior. There’s a fine line between sharing too much and sharing too little. A national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder found that 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate lacking an online presence. So, simply deleting or hiding your account isn’t a strong option. By locating a candidate’s social media profiles, employers are looking to validate qualifications and ensure a professional online presence. They may also be searching for a visible reason not to hire the candidate. Some staffing industry experts note that employers want candidates’ online presence to reflect the values and morals of their potential employer. Others are cautioning employers against automatically disqualifying candidates who cannot be found online. It's not necessarily a bad thing for candidates to prefer a more private life and forgo a social media presence altogether. But it all depends on habits of those looking to hire.

Common sense never goes out of style

For those who do choose an active online social media presence, a little common sense can go a long way. CareerBuilder notes that some social media sins include illegal drug references, sexual content, profanity, discriminatory comments, and bad-mouthing former employers or coworkers. Too many political opinions and poor grammar/spelling can also influence hiring decisions. A quick content review prior to posting can be the difference between securing a job and missing the opportunity. Job seekers should also check their privacy settings to control what information is public and what is shared only among friends.

Social media creates connections

The news for job seekers on social media isn’t all bad. The rise of social media has offered job seekers and recruiters alike the opportunity to connect with an audience that hasn’t always been so accessible. Gone are the days of newspaper job listings and mailing resumes to potential employers. Today, job seekers head straight to social media sites.

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