Job Search

When most people apply for a new job, their main interest is to complete the perfect resume and cover letter. Some of them pay attention to the LinkedIn profile, and that’s where their focus on social media stops. Leaving your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles unattended is a huge mistake. The practices of human resource managers evolve in accordance with the situation on the job market. Emily Asher, Head of Freelance HR Department of Australian Writings Pty Ltd, shares details about the practices of her team:

“Thanks to social media platforms, information is more accessible than ever. When hiring managers have access to such insights, they will inevitably use them. Our company gets dozens of applications for writing positions on a daily basis. The first step of the process involves evaluation of the candidate’s skills and educational background. These details are available in the application documents. Of course, we don’t stop there.” 

Your Social Media Presence Conveys Your Personality

Yes, your application documents are certainly important. Every human resource department is mainly concerned about your resume/CV and cover letter. If you don’t submit excellent documents, you won’t stand a chance to be considered. However, the application is not all you should focus on.

“A candidate’s Facebook profile conveys his personality. We are able to find a proof of the interests listed in the resume. Did he become part of any discussions? Did he share articles he wrote? What was the feedback? Simple tweets and statuses also influence our decision. We do not hire those applicants whose posts lack basic literacy, no matter how impressive their resumes were. Personally, I also appreciate when the candidates keep their political affiliation to themselves. We commonly get orders on sensitive topics, so we don’t want their strong opinions to affect the final result.”  

Okay, we got that part clear. You won’t leave a nice impression to a potential employer if you write you’re instead of your in your tweets. What happens if you can’t be located on social media platforms, or you make your profiles extremely private?

“That’s a bit disappointing,” – Asher explains. “Of course we’ll consider the candidate and enable him to proceed with the tests that each writer has to complete before entering our team. However, the applicant who impresses us through his social media presence always stands a better chance.”

How to Make Your Social Media Accounts Appealing

There are some basic rules that apply when you want to turn your social media profiles into job hunting tools.

1) Complete your bio!

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other networks enable you to add details about your personal and professional experience. Don’t leave these sections blank. Recruiters are all over social media; they are always ready to make a nice offer to someone who catches their eye. A clean, informative profile shows that you are a diligent person who’s proud of his/her experience and is ready to progress on the career ladder.

2) Do a photo cleanup!

You don’t want a hiring manager to see how hard you partied last Saturday. Your high school and college photos are more relevant than you might think; they can really harm your career. If there is any photo or publication that shows you in an inappropriate way, you should remove it or make it private.

Even when you’re applying for a position in a creative industry, potential employers won’t like seeing you half-naked on the beach. You can easily boost your appeal as a candidate if you simply do a photo cleanup.

3) Don’t be offensive!

It’s okay to involve yourself in a passionate discussion about a cause you care about. Getting offensive instead of offering strong arguments is simply wrong! Do not discuss other people’s political or religious affiliations. These comments can easily be located through Google, even when they are not on your own profile. Be tolerant to sexual minorities and all cultures.

4) Grammar is always important!

You thought that Twitter was a place where you could simply relax without thinking about complex grammar rules? Think again! When you make silly misspellings, you probably justify them with the fact that you were in a hurry to express your thoughts, or your phone pulled an autocorrect on you again.

Do you know how a hiring manager perceives these mistakes? As lack of attention and literacy! If you’re dealing with an authoritative hiring manager, he will care about the spelling, punctuation, grammar, and context of every post available on your profiles.

5) Use a professional email address

If the public email address on your social media profile is something like, you can’t expect to leave a good impression. Use your name in the email username, and make sure to choose a respectable provider.  

6) Adjust the privacy settings

As Ms. Asher explained, hiring managers are not happy to see a completely private Facebook profile. This doesn’t mean you should share everything, though. Check the timeline; you’ll probably notice some silly statuses back in 2007. Clean them up or make them private. You can check how your Facebook profile appears to other people when you use the ‘View As’ feature. Put yourself in the role of an employer: would you hire you based on what you see?

7) See what Google knows about you!

When an employer gets your application, he will first read your resume. If you leave a good impression, guess what he’ll do next: Google you. You need to prepare yourself for this practice. Conduct a search for your name and examine all information carefully: the web results, images, videos, and everything else you get! If any embarrassing results float on the surface, you should fix the damage before a hiring manager sees it. Take the compromising photos and statuses down.

If you get results for another person with the same name, there’s nothing much you can do about it. You don’t want the employer to be misled by this info, so the best solution is to include a photo in your resume.

Your Online Reputation Can Land You a Job… or Cost You an Opportunity!

Your social media postings can influence an employer’s decision. If your job application documents put you in the same rank with other candidates, the interviewing choices will be most likely based on everyone’s social media presence. Do not leave your profiles unattended. Make sure to build a great online reputation that you want everyone to be aware of!    

Author: Stephanie Norman is a freelance tutor and writer for Australian Writings from Sydney, with 4 years of experience. Also, she provides advice on human recruitment as an independent expert.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

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