Today’s recruiters and hiring managers are looking at the total picture when assessing candidates to fill their vacant job roles. While a CV may present the best version of you that you want a potential employer to see, they can find out a lot more about you from your social media presence.
Sometimes social media can drag up areas of your life you may not necessarily wish to declare. So you may be asking yourself, what changes to your online presence would make you an appropriate hire and what are the elements of your social media that could instantly put you out of the running? You may even be considering deleting your profiles and starting again! Don’t – this will immediately throw up a red flag and may mean you miss out on your dream job. There’s a risk that if recruiters cannot find you online, they may assume you either have something to hide or nothing to show, both of which will send your CV to the bottom of the pile.
The good news is that all is not lost. If you follow these five steps, you can ensure you are presenting a professional personal brand that makes you stand out for all the right reasons.
If you haven’t done so already, Google yourself. It is the most efficient way to establish where you are on the internet. There will most definitely be results that are not relevant to you, including others who share your name, but it should pull up all of your social media profiles. The critical thing to look for is how much of the information relating to you in this search are points you do not wish to share with your potential employer? If there are areas of concern, it’s time for damage limitation by making these private and less likely to be revealed in a search.
When it comes to Facebook, let’s breakdown the main points that you need to address.
How appropriate is your profile picture? Does it need to be changed?
Are all your Facebook friends, actually real-life acquaintances? It may seem cruel, but if your friend tally is 1000+, it is time for a cull!
Status updates, likes and check-ins are all excellent indicators for recruiters. You can hide, edit and delete statuses and comments if you want to make your page a little more recruiter-friendly. You can also conceal individual groups if you think being a member of such groups could be particularly damaging to your professional reputation; you can choose to unlike pages too if you think they might have the same effect. If anything, this is just a chance for a general Facebook clean-up, in addition to prepping for a job search!
To make your profile private, log in to Facebook, click Settings and then Privacy. From the Who Can See My Stuff? and Who Can Look Me Up? Options, you should aim to change everything to Friends. To further increase your privacy, you don’t want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile either. So, select No for that option.
Twitter isn’t generally perceived as the top platform to secure a dream job, but it could be the jewel in your social media crown when done correctly. The key is to ensure you are professional rather than reactive and emotional. Twitter gives you the ability to create a personal brand that can easily be identified.
Make sure your bio is on point, it should be a brief introduction to yourself that captures your personality, showing people who you are, what you do and what you like, and make sure your username does the same.
Twitter is very fast-moving, and updates don’t have time to get stale, but if a recruiter looks back through your historical tweets, what will they find? Make sure you sift through and remove anything that may get you into trouble or does not reflect your new personal brand.
While Facebook and Twitter are the most common social media outlets recruiters might visit, you need to be aware of the other places online they could find you.
YouTube will most likely rank highly when you search for yourself, and it’s a social media platform that’s often forgotten about when cleaning up your online presence! You can easily keep your activity on YouTube out of sight by visiting the privacy settings.
Instagram is another one that may appear. Again, make your account is private and consider removing photos that might damage your job search. If you delete your surname from your profile, it’s less likely that recruiters and employers will find you too
LinkedIn is another top-ranking hot spot for recruiters to vet your identity, but if you’re job searching, you’ve probably already set up and optimised your account for maximum exposure. If not then let us know, we can help on that front.
Pinterest is a sneaky one, but don’t worry; you can make your boards private so that recruiters don’t accidentally stumble across your collection.
You might have had a blog once upon a time that detailed rants and raves and poorly written book reviews. Make sure you check that these accounts are deleted if they’re now outdated. If you have a popular blog out there that you want to show off to recruiters, employers and other professionals, make sure it’s visible!
Many people find being self-objective isn’t easy. That’s why at ABCV Solutions we provide fresh, impartial perspective on what your digital footprint says about your potential for industry leadership, network reach and how your online reputation aligns with your offline presence.
By assessing your social footprint we can help you map out and understand key elements of your online reputation so you can proactively brand yourself beyond simply eliminating negatives to become better prepared for interviews and career conversations. Want to know more? Get in touch with me, Amelia via firstname.lastname@example.org.