Social media has become an integral part of the hiring process, but this can work for or against you depending on what your profile says about you.
More than 70% of recruiters have admitted scoping out candidates on social media prior to reaching out for an interview. Here's what they're looking for and what you can do to increase your chances of landing a job without swearing off social all together:
Why Recruiters Spy on Your Social Media Accounts
For many companies, doing a pre-background check via social media has become common practice. Recruiters want to know what you’re like before they invest time in the interview process.
A few things they’re actively looking for include:
- Proof of your qualifications (not just a resume)
- Hints about your personality
- A reason not to hire you (discriminatory comments, poor communication skills, illicit activity or alcohol use, bad mouthing previous employers)
The reason that many recruiters employ this spy tactic is because they ultimately want to see how well you will work in the culture of their company. When they hire you, you're filling a void and will be part of their ecosystem for 40 hours a week. If you're not a good cultural fit or your personality might clash with other personalities in the work space, then you likely won't be the candidate they need.
And in case you were wondering, more than 50% of recruiters say that they’ve found information on social media that made them reject a candidate. Ouch, right?
How to Make Social Media Work for You in the Job Search
You might be inclined to set your profiles to private, but you can actually make social media work for you rather than against you without having to hide.
For starters, make sure that the content you post or that is shared to your profile by others reflects the brand that you're trying to present. You don't have to swear off memes or funny stories for the sake of a recruiter, but your content should give anyone looking at it an opportunity to get to know the real you.
Also, posting things that are relevant to what you do, such as a blog post or news article, can show that you're focused on professional development. Start looking at social media as a positive way to build your image and be mindful about the content you post or share.
So, if you’re looking for a job, stop right now and check your online presence. Do you have anything available to the public eye that would give a recruiter pause? Would you want to hire you based on your social media content?
If you find something on your profile that could affect your job candidacy, delete it now before it can do any further damage. The lines between the personal and professional life are more blurred than most people realize, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward in everything you do.
For more job seeking insights and advice, head to our resource page. (Hint: There's a FREE networking eBook there too!)