Personal Branding

Social networking sites are often advertised as a place where you can socialize with friends, family and acquaintances. Nobody ever thought they’d find purpose in background checks! But then more and more recruiters and employers are using these sites as a valuable tool when screening potential employees.

So if you’re currently looking for a job, seeking a promotion or jumping into a different career, then you may want to be wary of what your online profiles contain. Some of the things you post may seem harmless or even funny to you but without context, it can project a different image of you to a very calculating recruiter.

You may not be aware of it, but here are a few things that your online persona can say about you:

Sociable or Loner?

If you only have two friends on your Facebook account (i.e. your parents) then you may not be considered a good candidate in sales or marketing as this involves a lot of human interaction On the other hand, if you have a lot of followers or friends, you can be perceived as sociable. However, pictures of yourself hanging out with a biker gang or on unruly drunken night outs with your buddies may show that while you’re fun to be with, you may not exactly be the serious type.

Prim and Proper or All Out Wild?

Pictures and comments your friends post on your social page can either be constructive or harmful. You may have been aware that recruiters now look at social pages so you keep your wacky pictures or comments on the wraps but what if your friends aren’t aware of this? You could lose a potential interview spot if a friend comments about how you were running naked on the beach completely wasted.

Honest or Two-faced?

We all struggle to keep our thoughts and personal opinions to ourselves and put on a pleasant face. But if a recruiter took a quick peek into your Twitter posts and saw exactly what you think about sensitive issues (e.g. race, sexual orientation, creed/religion, color, etc.), would you still be complacent that you will get the job? Being honest is okay; being insensitive and crude is not.

Reasonably Emotional or Nothing but a Complainer?

It is perfectly understandable for everyone to be completely emotional about some things some times. But then complaining about every other thing all the time can send out an impression that you’re going to be such a pain to work with. Nobody wants to hire a complainer! Make sure your social pages don’t reflect this side of you.

Good or Bad?

Have you just managed to conjure such a winning masterpiece of a resume filled with all your greatness? Good for you if it gets you an interview. But then too bad if you have falsified some information on your social pages before in your employment, called in sick (when you weren’t), participated in an affair, or worse.

Bottom Line

Be careful of what you post out there. Be mindful of what your friends do too. Keep things or thoughts that you don’t want to reflect negatively on you in private. Don’t let your personal escapades ruin your career!

Related: 3 Smart Ways to Brand Yourself in the Job Search Process.

Image: Shutterstock


About Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO at Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency.

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