Most people when searching for a job go to the classifieds or online listings. They may even post on Facebook to see if their friends and family have some leads. If you plan on using social media to help with your job search you need to be prepared.
Human Resource departments have been screening applicant’s profiles since social media began.
First step, go through your old social media accounts, like that defunct MySpace profile you don’t use. Login and set privacy settings for them or delete what you don’t use. Google your name and scan through at least five pages of the results. Most employers won’t dig much further beyond that, but if you have a lot of incriminating content find it and delete it until satisfied. Your online identity needs to promote the image you would fit in with the employer’s culture.
Kluemper states, “[We] found that impressions gleaned from a five- to 10-minute perusal of Facebook pages were actually a stronger predictor of a candidate’s likelihood to excel in a job than the personality surveys that many companies require job candidates to complete.”
Facebook can be destructive to your job search if you do not understand what you can control. You can find tutorials on scrubbing your Facebook profile clean here. By controlling your privacy setting you can highlight your skills and interests to your future employers. With Facebook friend lists you can actually add co-workers to a list to allow only certain material (posts, photos, events, etc.) to be viewed by them.
If you are applying to work for a radio station or music label, it would be wise to show your music interests publicly on your profile. If you want work as an event promoter or blogger the employer may take into account how many friends you have. If you are a writer or aspiring TV anchor you should allow people to subscribe to your profile to promote your brand.
It is very important to use a profile picture that is appropriate to represent yourself on other’s walls and pages. The new Timeline layout now has a larger cover photo on the top of your page. It will be the first thing a visitor sees when viewing your profile. The cover photo should be more meaningful and representative of your personality. That being said many employers have no problem with pictures of you at a party being social. They do frown upon a picture of you passed out on a lawn with sharpie marker on your face.
Many job seekers “Like” business pages they are applying to and this is a good idea. It shows you are interested in the company. Employers are also creating “Career” tabs on their pages to connect to users looking for job openings. Once your profile is set up for an employer, integrate it with Simply Hired, BranchOut, or LinkeIn. This way you can leverage your job history, education, languages, and even quotes as a mini resume for your possible employers.
These practices shouldn’t stop once you are hired. You will probably become friends on Facebook with co-workers and you need to consider them when posting. This is especially important when dealing with a crisis at work and/or bashing your employer.
Many jobs urge you to state that your opinions are strictly yours and not that of their company. Twitter has had many cases of CEO’s or other employees getting in trouble with information leaking out or inappropriate posts. Remember a simple rule: if you wouldn’t say it in front of your boss it’s probably not appropriate for social media.
Increase your Online Marketing exposure in 2012 with the above tips and contact us if you need assistance.
Image credits go to sheelamohan & Michal Marcol – freedigitalphotos.net