Is your social media presence unprofessional or virtually non-existent?
If so, you could be sabotaging your job-seeking efforts without even realizing it.
According to recent studies from both Career Builder and Jobvite.com, more than 40% of employers are less likely to hire someone if they have no social media presence whatsoever, and a whopping 92% of professional recruiters perform a social media screen to find worthy candidates.
Social media isn’t just for voicing your opinions any more or documenting those nights out on the town. Today, it can literally be the difference between grabbing that dream job interview or missing a great opportunity altogether.
If you’re worried about your lackluster social media presence, keep reading because we’re dishing on all the do’s and don’ts you need to know to craft a more professional social media presence.
Accounts With These Top 3 Social Media Networks
Remember that statistic about employers not hiring individuals with zero social media pages?
That number is only expected to grow, so the first thing you have to do is create accounts with the three most important social media networks recruiters look for.
According to that same Jobvite recruiters’ survey, 87% of recruiters immediately look for a Linkedin profile, 55% look for a professional Facebook profile, and 47% look for twitter accounts during a social media screen.
Another rising social media network you should consider joining is Glassdoor, as 38% of recruiters now use Glassdoor profiles in their social media screen.
Registering for the right social media networks is one thing, but you have to populate it with the right content to grab the attention of recruiters.
To start, make sure you list your career experience without any major time gaps between jobs. You want to treat your social media presence as you would with any other resume, especially with your LinkedIn profile.
If there are gaps in your career history, make sure to include any volunteer experience, projects, or courses that you may have taken during that time.
Include any professional responsibilities and “hard skills” you obtained from each career listed, and don’t forget to include all your job titles if you were promoted during your tenure.
Linkedin also has an endorsement feature that let’s former bosses, coworkers, and clients leave positive notes about your work.
We also recommend including your current job title in your Twitter profile and to populate the “work” section of your Facebook profile.
As always, make sure this information is public so recruiters can see it!
How Well Do You Know Your Industry?
Employers want the cream of the crop.
Social media is a great way to “show your stuff” about your industry and prove you’re committed to your work.
For example, if your industry is interior design, we recommend sharing public posts about the latest interior design trends, statistics, and up-and-coming designers to watch for.
If marketing is your niche, try posting articles and infographics on best practices in marketing or content marketing trends for the new year. This is also an opportunity to create your own original infographics and blog posts to share with your audience and recruiters.
What’s great about social media is that there are several ways you can share industry-focused content.
Check out these features to improve your social media screen:
- LinkedIn blog posts and status updates
- Slideshare presentations for LinkedIn
- Facebook notes, Facebook live webinars, and statuses.
- Medium stories. You can easily create a Medium blog with your Twitter account.
Almost one-third of employers today want job candidates to have a college degree, and 60% of employers will choose applicants with a college degree over those with only a high school diploma.
Therefore, it’s critical that you list your college degree and all universities attended for your social media screen.
Both Facebook and Linkedin have sections to include your college degree, as well as sections to list applicable coursework that’s relevant to your industry.
We also recommend listing any college clubs, merit scholarships, and any other academic awards you may have obtained throughout your college career.
If you’re already active on social media, then it’s time to assess whether or not you need to clean up your act before your social media screen.
Going back to our original career builder study, employers cite the following problems as red flags for potential candidates:
- 46% of employers surveyed cited “provocative or inappropriate” photos and video material as reasons for not hiring a candidate.
- 41% will not hire an individual if their public photos involve drinking, drug use, and any other drug-related material.
- 33% of employers cite culturally and politically insensitive material as reasons for not hiring a candidate.
- Being critical of past employers is also a no-no, as more than 30% of employers will reject a candidate for posting negative material about previous employers.
- 29% of employers also look to see if you’re a good communicator on facebook. Rude, immature, or illogical responses to public online conversations can also hurt your chances for employment.
Now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about a few tricks that you can do right now to immediately professionalize your social media presence.
How To Improve Your Social Media Screen
You want to make a great first social media impression with employers. To achieve that peace of mind, we recommend that you take advantage of your privacy settings to improve your social media screen.
Anything you don’t want your employers to see, whether its comments about a TV show or even innocent photos with friends, can be set to “friends only” on Facebook.
If you go into your Facebook settings, you can also set your all past posts to “friends only” or “only me” if you’re worried about any past content coming back to haunt you.
Please note that everything you post on twitter is public, so never post any inappropriate or unprofessional material on your twitter. As well, your LinkedIn should be reserved for professional content only, as LinkedIn acts as an online resume for your social media screen.
Your social media profile pictures should also look appropriate. That’s why we recommend using a professional headshot that you can use across all social media platforms.
Now, you’re ready to put your best foot forward on social media.
There’s no time like the present, so hurry up and improve those profiles right now to ensure your chances of future employment.