Friends and family aren’t the only ones checking your social media accounts; many recruiters do research on applicants by searching their names online. If you were a recruiter searching your name, would you like what you see? Several things from your profile picture to the things you post can be huge red flags to your potential employer. Here are some things you can do to prevent putting your career in danger:
Remember the two P’s of posting
No matter what or where you’re posting content, make sure they follow the two P’s of posting: your content is professional and positive. For example, if you want to complain about something, keep it PG and be sure to offer solutions. No one likes a whiner, but everyone appreciates someone who gives good constructive criticism.
Appearance is everything
Your picture tends to be the first thing anyone notices when they look at your profile. Make sure it is appropriate. Check anything else on your profile including text posts, other pictures, links, groups you’re in and things you’ve liked. Ensure that you have nothing on your profile that you would be embarrassed of if a recruiter were to see. This does not only include the stuff that you post. Check to see if your friends have any unsavoury pictures of you posted online.
Review the privacy settings of your accounts to guarantee that only the people you want can view your profile. However, there are always ways for your potential employer to see your profile. It could be as simple as a shared friend that will give them access, so don’t expect to be safe just because you have all of the security settings up.
All of these precautions don’t mean you should stop posting and being an active social media consumer altogether. You should use social media as much as possible to shine in the eyes of the recruiter. Liking Facebook pages or following Twitter accounts of industry experts is a great way to do so. LinkedIn is a wonderful website that helps you get noticed. Make your online presence count by joining LinkedIn groups related to your desired career path and start expanding your network early. If you want to join the public relations field or be a writer, consider starting a blog. Create a website and post your portfolio to let others see your amazing work. Overall, show recruiters that you have a personality and that you are a great fit for their company.
Do a vanity search
Do as the recruiters do and search yourself on the web. Think of yourself as a brand and social media as a marketing tool. Are you marketing yourself well? Not only are you using it carefully, but are you also using it wisely? Most importantly, do you seem valuable enough for your prospective employers to invest in you?