It’s a no-brainer that you should always put your best foot forward when meeting a potential employer. First impressions go a long way, so you want to make sure you leave a good one. (Remember the adage “Perception is reality”.) You may think you’re in the clear after submitting a resume or acing that first interview, but you may not be out of the woods just yet.
According to social media expert Joshua Waldman, 89% of companies used social media for recruitment in 2011 (and you can bet your derriere that number has only grown since then). Your social media behavior may make or break you when job hunting. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, give employers insight into who you are beyond what’s listed on a resume. When used correctly, social media can be a strong asset in securing a job. But it can also be the reason you don’t get hired. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to social media:
- If you wouldn’t show it to your grandma, don’t put it online. It’s a pretty simple rule to abide by. Grandma doesn’t want to see that picture of you giving a drunken lap dance to your college roommate. Neither do potential employers. If it shows you in an unfavorable light, change the privacy setting or get rid of it.
- Don’t trash-talk. In the words of Thumper from Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Posting negative comments about your family, co-workers, previous places of employment, so on and so forth, are a big no-no. (Note: this rule still applies after you land a job; never, never, never post negative or derogatory comments concerning your place of employment on social media platforms) Always air on the side of positivity.
- Show you’re interested. The best way to show you’re passionate about your field of interest or career path is to share it with others. Find relevant websites, stories, and quotes pertaining to your career or field of interest and share them.
- Grammar. Taking an extra 30 seconds to punctuate and spell correctly can go a long way.
- Use those privacy settings. If you can’t bring yourself to delete those beloved pictures from your experimental college days, you may want to change your privacy settings. Set your page so that anyone you’re not friends with on Facebook, or who is not following you on Twitter, cannot view your page.
- Create groups. You can organize your friend’s list on Facebook into groups such as friends, family, and co-workers. Now your friends can see those suggestive pictures, but your potential employer or boss will still believe you’re an angel. Problem solved.
- Interact with them. Engaging on the company’s social media pages is a good way to express your interest in the firm and position. It tells them you didn’t just submit a resume and move on. A couple of retweets and Facebook status likes can’t hurt. Just don’t go overboard. You don’t want to be branded as the Facebook stalker.
- Be yourself. Or at least the best version of yourself. Stay true to yourself and your interests when posting on social media platforms. Your online identity should be in conjunction with your offline one.