A research has shown that the majority of employers and recruiters visit candidate social media profiles to gather additional information on job-hunters. This implies that candidates must consider their social media profiles as a supplement to their résumé. Even if certain media, such as Facebook, are not meant for this purpose, a recruiter may be tempted to form an opinion based a public profile. In fact, the same research goes on to say that a significant percentage of employers have rejected some applications on the basis of what they found online.
As much as social media can negatively affect a person’s reputation, there are also things that can encourage a recruiter to choose the successful candidate based on information extracted online.
What can you do to safeguard your online reputation?
If your success in job hunting can be affected by social media it is worthwhile investing some time in updating and maintaining your public profiles. As a starting point, you need to decide on what impression you wish to give to recruiters and employers when they look at your profiles. What do your profile pictures say about yourself? What content are you sharing? What are your friends tagging you in? To find out on your online reputation from the recruiter’s perspective all you need to do is search your name and see what search engines pull about yourself. The next step would be to remove anything you posted or allowed others to post that harms your reputation.
Elements that can reflect badly on a candidate include bad grammar or gross misspelling, anything indicating you lied on your résumé, badmouthing of previous employers, signs of racism, prejudice and anything indicating immoral behaviour or abuse. Outdated profiles can look highly unprofessional. Make sure that information about yourself is up to date. Leave no part of the profile blank unless you have a very good reason.
Expanding your presence online is another option worth evaluating. Professional sites like LinkedIn have forums, or groups, organised by subject matter. Other social networking sites, like Facebook, have pages devoted to particular subjects. Look through the directory of those groups or forums, choose one or two that are related to your industry or interests, and after signing up, speak up regularly whenever you have something to say that will quietly demonstrate you are an expert in your chosen subject area.
Remember, anything you put online can become public even if you ensure that privacy settings are in place. Consider that recruiters are actively searching online to find out more about their candidates therefore rather than just maintaining a social media profile you may wish to start thinking that you are in reality maintaining your résumé.
VacancyCentre is available to assist any person actively looking for their next career move.
Feel free to contact us on [email protected] for further information and guidance.