Written By Randall S. Hansen for Live Career Blog
You’re the first generation to have grown up on social media, which means your life has been on display for all of your friends, family, and classmates. That’s all good and well, but now that you are entering the workforce, it’s time to do a social media check-up.
A whopping 65 percent of prospective employers search the social media accounts of applicants. The way you portray yourself online speaks volumes and can be a determining factor when it comes to hiring. Do your social media posts illustrate the person you want prospective employers to see? Take this quiz to see if your pages are up to speed.
Do you have a social media account?
Yes: Open all of your social media accounts now. We’re going to do some digging.
No: Get one (or even three). As we stated, 65 percent of prospective employers search the social media accounts of applicants. This is a great opportunity to show off your winning personality and charm.
Have you filled out all of the fields on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles?
Yes: Great. Move onto the next question.
No: It’s time to fill in the blanks. Start treating your social media like an extension of your resume. Facebook has a work and education section. You should also have your resume, portfolio, and bio on LinkedIn. Ask teachers, mentors or past employers for recommendations you can include on your profile.
Are your settings private?
No, or I don’t know: You’ve got some work to do. Each social media site will have instructions on how to make your settings private and most will allow you to view your profile as someone else so that you can see exactly what a recruiter might see if he or she searches for you.
Yes, completely: While privacy settings are a good idea, too much privacy can be considered a red flag. Find a happy mix of public and private posts.
Do you have pictures of yourself under the influence?
No: Good for you. Move on.
Yes: Remove these photos — and those you’ve been tagged in — immediately. Alternatively, you can just make them private, but deleting entirely is a better option if you plan to utilize your network to find a job.
Do you use #hashtags?
No: Wait, are you sure?
Yes: It’s time to review your online tags. There are several incriminating viral tags that recently surfaced. You know what they are. With damaging tags, you can wave goodbye to the job you want. No one wants to see scandalous hashtags.
Do you advocate following politicians?
No: Great. There’s nothing wrong with posting about politics on social media, but abstaining altogether makes your job easier when it comes to making your profiles employer-friendly.
Yes: Be mindful of what a potential employer may see. While politics may be a huge part of your online presence, it can be a deterrent to prospective employers. Make sure every political post is private.
Did you hate your last job? Did you possibly make passive-aggressive posts about your last experience?
No: Good. And don’t. Ever.
Yes: We understand that not every job will end on amicable terms, but putting your last employer on blast is highly frowned upon. Even the complimentary likes on articles that discuss horrible bosses are not favorable to a potential employer.
Do you have a tasteless selfie posted as your LinkedIn picture?
Yes: For the love of Bill Gates, take it down. A highly-edited duckface pose isn’t going to gain any points (even if you did it ironically). Fight for your right to selfie on a different occasion. LinkedIn is your professional profile and should be treated as such.
Do you use SnapChat?
No: That’s fine.
Yes: Okay sparky, but you’re going to need to use it positively now. Try volunteering, or helping ducks cross the street, and snap positive stories like this. The app boasts that your pictures and videos disappear, but you’re smarter than that. Always err on the side of “nothing you post online will ever disappear.”
Are you opinionated?
Yes, or kinda: Stating your opinion and being an individual is what social media is all about, but exercise some caution when you do this. Make sure that your opinionated posts are private. Perhaps you want to make your Twitter page private and hide most Facebook posts.
Do you volunteer in your community?
No: No problem.
Yes: Great! Make those posts prominent. Employers love to see what you choose to do in your private time. Volunteering in your community, whether it’s a clean-up day or coaching softball, is a great way to show them a glimpse into your off-work life.
Do you have a personal website?
Yes: Fantastic. Provide easily accessible links to it on your social media pages. While you’re at it, make sure your page is up to date. And put it on your resume. Employers will look at it!
No: See the answer to “yes.” Having a personal website is a great extension of your resume and personal brand. It’s a place where people can really get a sense of your creativity and personality. And, if you’re looking to break into media, marketing, or advertising, consider it a must.
Do you share TMI drama?
No: Okay, but remember, in life, we all have ups and downs. It’s okay to share your feelings with your followers, but you should avoid trash talking others.
Yes: Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to know about your dirty laundry. So ask a friend for a second opinion if you fear you’re guilty of doing this.
Have you added your recruiter as a friend online yet?
Yep: BAD! It is considered unprofessional (and a bit creepy) to add the hiring manager or recruiter to your social media world. Wait until you’re hired and you really get to know these people before you add them into your virtual life.
Article courtesy of Live Career Blog
Contact the Waldorf Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, 641-585-8681or 641-585-8682 if you have questions about your career path, need assistance with resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation or your job search.