In today’s digital society, with almost everyone active on at least one form of social media, we each have a digital footprint that follows us wherever we go whether we like it or not.
Managing your online reputation is increasingly important, especially if you are actively searching for a new role in the job market. 56% of HR professionals admit that a candidate’s online reputation has an influence on their hiring decision and 65% admit to Googling a candidate during the hiring process. For this reasons it’s really important to be aware of the information that can be found about you online.
On the flip side, as a job seeker, social media can be an incredibly useful tool in finding your new role.
We’ve put together a handy guide to tap into the power of social media to make searching for jobs easier and the pitfalls to avoid.
Here’s our top tips for tidying up your social profiles:
- Google yourself and find out what employers can see. Take the opportunity to clean up unwanted photos and embarrassing status updates.
- Think carefully about your privacy settings. A potential employer isn’t likely to be impressed by your drunken photos from a night out with friends…
- Be careful about the things you say online. Foul language and posting about your ‘hangover’ is unlikely to be what a prospective employer is looking for. If you can’t resist, then make your accounts private and definitely leave this type of thing off LinkedIn.
- You may wish to hide the personal details and information that’s public on your social media profiles; it is illegal for employers to make decisions in the hiring process based on your gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or any other information, so don’t leave yourself open to any kind of discrimination.
- Choose a profile photo that reflects the professional and sensible side of you… especially on LinkedIn.
- Finally, don’t speak negatively about your current or previous employers. So you’ve had a bad day at work? Turning to social media to vent your anger is not the solution. You never know who might see this and you don’t want potential employers to think you’ll do the same about their company should they hire you.
Our top tips on using social media to benefit your job search:
- Use your social channels to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ companies or connect and interact with influencers who work in the industry you’d like to get into. This is a great way to show recruiters and employers that you’re engaging with relevant people in your sector.
- Companies use social media to advertise their job vacancies, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for vacancy updates in your field and with companies that you’re interested in working for.
- Use your social channels to network with people in the industry you want to work in and engage with prospective employers to show you’re taking an interest in their business and what they do.
- Connect with and follow recruitment consultants who tend to share useful advice for job seekers such as CV writing tips, interview advice and how to manage job offers.
- Use social media (especially LinkedIn) to let people know that you’re in search of new opportunities. A connection may know about a job opening that you don’t or be able to point you in the right direction to leverage your search.
- Use your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to share and comment on relevant industry news. Social media can be a really powerful tool to build your personal brand and it’s also a great platform for showing employers that you are commercially aware, making you a much more attractive candidate.