Facebook is more than a place to boast about your latest vacation or talk politics with your friends; it’s a valuable tool for employers and applicants alike. CareerBuilder’s 2016 recruitment survey revealed that 60 percent of employers research prospective employees online, compared to just 22 percent in 2008.
The thought of employers peering into your personal life via social media may be nerve-racking, but you can take several steps to minimize the damage or even get the scoop on hiring managers:
Streamline Your Accounts For Professional Purposes
Like it or not, prospective employers will take a close look at your social media presence. Will they like what they see? If your Facebook or Instagram profiles feature controversial photos, don’t expect an interview; 49 percent of interviewers who vet potential employees online admit that they’ve chosen not to hire candidates based on information they’ve found via social media. This doesn’t have to be you; remove all instances of profanity and any mentions of unprofessional conduct such as alcohol and drug use from your social media accounts. Be sure to also clean up your spelling and grammar, as 29 percent of employers refuse to hire candidates who demonstrate poor communication skills online.
Do Your Research
Yes, potential employers enjoy the power of social media vetting, but you do as well. Check out Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages for all companies that capture your interest, and take notes. What are the company’s values? How can you demonstrate your ability to fit into the overarching company culture? Be sure to also look up the hiring manager you expect to conduct your interview. Tweets, LinkedIn posts, and shared links can all help you determine the type of employee this individual values.
Let Your Intentions Be Known
Your friends and followers may possess amazing leads, but you’ll never know unless they’re fully aware of your job search. Let social media connections know you’re on the hunt for gainful employment. Private messaging might be called for here if you do not want to let colleagues or supervisors at your current place of employment know you’re job hunting. Even if they lack immediate suggestions, they’ll be more inclined to think of you if they come across promising job opportunities in the future. Feel free to also invite critiques for your resume, portfolio, or professional website. Your contacts can provide targeted advice and give you an edge over the competition.
A professional social media presence can make all the difference as you embark on your job hunt. Before you send out resumes, take some time to clean up your Facebook profile, research potential hiring managers, and reach out to your followers for leads — you’ll be climbing the career ladder in no time.