If you’re in the majority of Americans, you probably use some form of social media in your every day life. According to Pew Research Center, in 2021, 69% of adults used Facebook, 40% used Instagram and 23% used TwitterA Harris Poll survey of 1,005 U.S. hiring decision-makers found:
- 70% believe hiring decision-makers should evaluate all applicants’ social media profiles
- 67% admitted to using social media to research potential job candidates
- 55% found social media content that caused them not to hire a candidate
Avoiding social media altogether doesn’t work for many candidates and, in some cases, it could hurt a candidate’s chance of being hired. The poll found 21% of hiring decision-makers aren’t likely to consider a candidate who has no online presence.
A positive social media presence can help you get noticed by recruiters, help you get job opportunities as a passive candidate and help you get the job when you’re applying. Here are some social media do’s and don’ts to consider.
1. Do Create & Optimize a LinkedIn Profile
Don’t Avoid Social Media Altogether
Even if you’re anti-social media for personal reasons, you should have a profile on LinkedIn for professional branding. LinkedIn is the world’s largest social networking site for professionals. As we mentioned, since one in five hiring managers aren’t likely to consider you if you don’t have a social media presence, the least you coould do is network through a basic LinkedIn profile.
According to Zippia, 87% of recruiters say LinkedIn is the most effective platform for vetting candidates. Optimize your profile with keywords that relate to your work experience that recruiters might be searching for online. Highlight key accomplishments and involvement with relevant industry associations. Ask trusted colleagues to write you a LinkedIn recommendation and endorse your skills.
If you join LinkedIn Groups related to your work and industry, make sure your posts are professional and feature content you’d be OK with hiring managers seeing. Add a photo to your profile and use your resume to fill in sections like work experience to balance out your profile.
2. Do Conduct a Social Media Audit
Don’t Assume Your Social Media Past Won’t Hurt You
If you’re actively looking for jobs, you’ll want to clean up your online reputation. For any social media profiles you’ve set to public, go back through your posts to check out the content. It’s a good idea to delete any content that could be polarizing or offensive. This could include content related to politics, religion, sex and drug/alcohol use.
Also, consider the tone of your posts. If you’ve posted content from an angry point-of-view, it might be best to delete or set to private.
The content you’re tagged in can also impact how hirers hiring managers view you on social media. You may want to untag yourself from inappropriate posts. If there are offensive comments on your page, you may want to delete those, too, since they may reflect on you.
3. Do Consider How Public You Want Your Content to Be
Don’t Share Content You Wouldn’t Want Recruiters to See Publicly
During a job search, it may be safer to turn your profiles on sites like Facebook and Instagram to private, especially if they share personal information you may not be comfortable with employers seeing. Carefully consider profiles you connect with on social sites. If the profile isn’t someone you’re familiar with, you may not want to give them access to your social media content.
With LinkedIn, having your professional information public may benefit you, especially if it can lead to a better job opportunity when you’re a passive candidate. Just make sure you take a professional approach to any content you post on LinkedIn and how you interact with others on the site, since your interactions may be visible to recruiters and hirers.
Be careful when adding people on LinkedIn. It’s a best practice for any social media site to only connect with people you have some sort of real connection to. That’s because, if you follow or add people who don’t know you, they could mark your request to connect as spam. That could result in consequences such as being banned from the site.
Social Media Can Impact Your Job Search
Like it or not, how you present yourself online could impact your candidacy in the eyes of hirers and recruiters. Your online presence does reflect on your potential as a human candidate.
With social media and a job search, the best policy is “better safe than sorry”. Every interaction you have, every like you make and every comment you leave could influence how people view you.
When you’re actively applying for jobs, it may be safest to turn personal profiles to private and work on optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
The recruiting teams at AccruePartners help our candidates put their best foot forward in the job market with the latest in best practices and market intel. If you’re interested in finding a new position, connect with the recruitment specialists at AccruePartners.
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