Reppler conducted a survey of 300 professionals who were involved in the hiring process and here are some of their findings:
- Whether you like it or not, hirers are using social networks to screen job applicants. This means it is important to carefully manage your image on these types of sites.
- Facebook and Twitter are being used a lot to screen job applicants. On Facebook and Twitter, we believe hirers are trying to get a more personal view of a candidate, rather than the resume-like view they will see on LinkedIn.
- Hirers are looking at the social networking profiles of candidates very early in the process. This means that job seekers need to have their online act in order before they begin looking for a job.This goes to show that your social media accounts are no longer for your personal use and you must be very careful what you post to avoid getting into hot water with a current or potential employer. Here are a few ways to keep your social media profile up to snuff.
- “Prioritizing your social network begins with deciding what type of job you’d like and at what type of company you’d like to work. Job seekers must remember that previous positions in their industry don’t limit them to only applying for jobs within the same industry. For example, job seekers who previously worked as events managers at hotels aren’t limited to applying for hotel jobs. They can apply for event planning jobs at advertising or public relations agencies, non-profit organizations and large corporations that hold employee events, to name a few. A bit of career soul searching is required for successful prioritizing.” (Sudy Bharadwaj, Mashable.com)
- Before even applying for any job, make sure to give all your social networking accounts a thorough cleaning. Get rid of any posts that might be negatively associated with you and use your privacy settings wisely. Delete anything that could be misconstrued, whether it is your post or someone else’s. Get rid of things that pertain to religion, politics, and other sensitive topics.
- If your Twitter account is public, delete tweets that could be deemed inappropriate. Go through your list of followers as well as the people you follow and block or unfollow as you see fit. Follow accounts that are relevant to the position you are applying for and try to portray yourself in the best light.
- Pay it forward and be active. “Blatant self-promotion and a Twitter stream full of self-concerned updates is a big turnoff. You want to share information about yourself and use it to help you, but you also need to help others to gain and maintain an active following. Share interesting information and links. Promote others through retweets, or tweeting what they’ve tweeted, to recognize their efforts, add value to your community and join conversations.” (Lindsay Olson, USNews.com)
- Spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile photo is professional and ensure that your account is not a ghost town. It will work out better if you kept it updated even while you were not hunting for a job. Try joining LinkedIn Groups and see if you can find any other professionals you can build relationships with. “Make sure that when employers find you they are seeing information about your professional accomplishments and background that’s up to date. If there are too many videos, photos, and other references and links to your personal life, you should utilize privacy settings and consider disabling or removing some of these other links.” (Trudy Steinfeld, Forbes.com)