It’s commonly accepted that, as individuals, we portray ourselves differently on social media sites, whether that’s updating Facebook statuses of our weekend antics, taking ‘selfies’ or ranting about often trivial things.
But how closely does your online persona reflect the real you, and are you aware that a common practise used by employers when recruiting is the searching of a candidate’s web presence?
According to David Blacker, a Headhunter at an American based recruitment firm with over 20 years’ experience, commenting in theweek.com:
“A lot of people put things out there without realising the ramifications. The internet is a living, breathing entity that goes on indefinitely, and assessing a candidate’s social media presence is one of the top things recruiters do.”
So we here at We Plan Group want you to take six steps to ensure your online profile doesn’t hinder your job hunting strategy.
Step 1 – Don’t badmouth employers or colleagues
Who remembers this guy that Apple fired? Gossiping about your co-workers or employers, even former ones, is a major ‘No, No’ when you’re job hunting. Criticising your workplace online can reflect badly on you as it makes potential new employers question if you’re really a team player who will support the next business you work for. If you have publicly complained about your current or previous roles, what’s to stop you from repeating this in the future? Think carefully about whether you’ve ever done this in the past if you are currently job hunting.
Step 2 – Be consistent
Make sure your old posts don’t come back to bite you – if you updated Facebook saying you’ve been sacked from a previous role, don’t tell a potential new employer that you were made redundant! Or if you left a role due to sickness or injury on your CV, check there aren’t any holiday pictures of yourself water skiing on Facebook or Instagram – sounds obvious doesn’t it… #justsaying
Step 3 – Try to be a ‘Cheerleader’
This may sound very American but it’s a good guide when posting on social media in any circumstances, but especially if you’re looking for a new job…Be positive! Whether that’s about your latest work project, your new colleagues or your employer in general, don’t post anything work-related you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in a face to face situation. As the saying goes ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’!!
Step 4 – Monitor questionable content
Social media was designed to share content with people who know you, but sometimes we post images and topics that might not be in keeping with the ‘professional’ image we want a potential employer to see. So just be mindful that if every picture online shows you drunk in a gutter, what questions might that raise in an interview? Also, whilst your friends will appreciate your sense of humour, and know if your comment is tongue-in-cheek do be careful when sharing or liking content which could be seen as derogatory.
Step 5 – Perform your own social media audit
Sounds like a real chore but it really could work in your favour – Google your own name and check what results are listed. If you’re not happy with what you see, contact the person who made the post and ask for it to be removed. Alternatively, increase the number of positive tweets or blogs you post to change the results listed in Google. Always put yourself in a potential new employers place, would you ask yourself into interview given what you’ve seen on social media? You can be whoever you want to be on the Internet, so be the kind of person you can be proud of and that you would want to employ.
Step 6 – Check your privacy settings
Really, if you’ve got this one sewn up, most of the rest are a doddle! If you don’t want to be ‘checked out’ on line then make sure you have the correct privacy settings on your profiles – you can check your Facebook ones here. This means that only certain people can view your Facebook or Twitter pages, but remember……anyone can Google!
Bear these points in mind and we hope this helps in a new job search!