While the U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in seven years, finding a job can be tough, regardless of whether you’re going for your first job out of college or the next step in your career. And social media has made it even harder, as your online presence can have a lot to do with whether you get an offer or not — and then keep the position and advance.
We’ve all heard cautionary tales like when a Texas
woman was fired earlier this month from a daycare when she posted on
Facebook saying she “hates being around a lot of kids”
that tell us to use common sense when putting something on the
Internet, but there are also things you can do to actually impress your
boss, says Jessica Diaz, a recruiter at the staffing agency TalentHub
Worldwide. Here, Diaz offers seven tips to creating the most flattering
of virtual résumés, keeping your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even
Instagram accounts in mind.
Make sure you’re following relevant companies on LinkedIn. Recruiters are using LinkedIn to source candidates, and Diaz says, “We also check to see what types of companies [candidates] are following and what their interests are, so we can better align them with our open opportunities.” So if you’re looking for a job within a sports department, Diaz recommends following sports companies, teams, and athletes on social media.
Keep your information consistent. Make sure you show consistency across all your social media accounts, otherwise disparities might work against you. “If on your LinkedIn you list your title as ‘Marketing Manager since 2012′ but on your Facebook you list ‘Marketing Coordinator since 2013,’ that is a red flag for us that you are not being truthful about your work history.”
Highlight your accomplishments. Hiring managers also like to see candidates use social media to promote their professional accomplishments. Highlight positions, big projects, awards, and educational honors. “I look to see if they have joined any professional groups and regularly contribute to topics related to their work,” Diaz adds.
Beware of the comments people leave you. Yes, they absolutely read comments, so make sure the comments left on your page are always positive. They want to see people recommending you or making reference to your work.
Chill with the selfies. Selfies are okay for the most part, but try not to flood your Instagram account with them and always make sure they’re appropriate. “If you are looking for a job, I think it is important to have a professional profile picture/cover photo on your social media accounts,” says Diaz. “A selfie pic is fine as long as it is not inappropriate for work. Remember, it’s our first impression.”
The same goes for bikini and gym selfies. If you want to post a selfie of you looking hot in a bikini or showing off your rock hard abs at the gym, go right ahead. But if it’s something you’d be embarrassed to have a potential recruiter see, don’t put it up, and definitely don’t make it your profile photo.
Be mindful if you have a boss following you on social. “I usually advise against friending your boss on Facebook or Instagram because your boss may take it as an invasion of privacy,” Diaz says. But if they decide to follow or be-friend [you], make sure to add privacy filters — that way they only see posts you share relating to your industry. Posting personal pictures — your children, nephew, pet, outings with friends — is fine too, says Diaz. “We understand that you obviously have a life outside of work, just be careful of what you post and the time that you post it.” And lastly, don’t post all day because it could show you are slacking off at work.
Do you have any other great tips to share?