Social media sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, are powerful tools for a job seeker. You can use social media to leverage your network as you search for your next position: Let people know what you are looking for, and ask them for an introduction to anyone who is working at your target company. Find key people to connect with in the industry or company you are considering.
However, social media can work against you if you don’t project a positive, professional image online. More and more employers, as a regular part of their background searches, are checking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites to see what kind of online presence potential candidates have created for themselves. They don’t want to see anything that may reflect poorly on the company if they hire you.
Don’t let this scare you away from using these tools, since social networking sites are rapidly becoming important tools in recruiters’ arsenals, and you want to be within their sights.
Use common sense to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible light online:
On Facebook and Twitter:
- Clean up digital “dirt” before you begin your job search. Delete any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer’s eyes. Remove offensive language or obscenities on your pages. This rule is not limited to what you post, but also to what your friends and colleagues are posting. If someone comments on your photo, and you think the comment is inappropriate for a professional audience, delete the photo or comment.
- Avoid postings about hot-button issues such as religion, politics and controversial topics. Regardless of how passionate you are about a topic, be leery of voicing your opinion in a public arena. You don’t want to be disqualified from a potential opportunity because your social media persona is misrepresenting you.
- If you’re still employed, don’t mention your job search in Tweets or status updates. Multiple people have gotten fired as a result of doing this.
- Be honest. Potential employers can use social networks to confirm that you have represented your interests, education level and background truthfully.
- Make sure your profile is up to date. Use your headline and summary to convey a strong message about yourself, and use any key terms employers or recruiters might use in searches.
- Highlight specific accomplishments.
- Join groups of interest to you such as alumni groups – these are frequently used to post job openings.
On Facebook or LinkedIn: Consider creating or joining a professional group. It’s a great way to establish relationships with leaders, recruiters and potential referrals.
On Twitter: Your profile and messages form part of your personal brand, so be mindful about what name you use, who you follow and what you say.
On All 3 Sites:
- Keep the content you post focused on positive things, whether it’s related to professional or personal information.
- Be selective about whom you connect with. Don’t forget others can see your connections, friends and followers when they search for you.
- Keep your privacy settings as tight as possible. While it is illegal and very hard to prove, potential employers might discriminate based on information available on social networking profiles. Be aware of revealing even basic information such as age, disability, sexual orientation or political affiliations.
At Springborn Staffing, we employ the most modern techniques to find the top talent in Maine. If you would like to learn more about using social media to find the perfect candidate, contact Springborn today.