If You Think Your Social Media Accounts Don't Matter; Think Again!

Nancy Anderson
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Most employers turn to social media to dig up information about job candidates. That's why your social media presence is so important when it comes to your job search. Status updates, mentions, likes, photos and what you say on social networks all play a role in your personal brand. Find out what employers look for when searching through your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

How Employers Search for You

Employers search two main places on the internet to find out information about candidates, according to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey. As many as 66 percent of employers use search engines like Google, while another 70 percent head straight to social media websites. Hiring managers who run their own LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook accounts often find it easier to locate candidates online.

Reasons Employers Scour Social Media

Hiring managers turn to social media to verify work experience, see if there is evidence to back up your claims, and determine if your personality is a good fit for the company culture and position. Researching your profiles and posts takes less time and effort than calling you directly or contacting former supervisors.

Up to 58 percent of employers want information that supports the qualifications you list on a resume, while 50 percent simply want to gauge your online persona. About one-third, or 34 percent, of hiring managers want to view what you have said to other people online, and 22 percent say they look for reasons not to hire candidate.

Why You Should Have an Online Presence

Employers from the CareerBuilder survey believe the information they found online lead to positive results for candidates. Revisit your social media profiles, and enhance your background information. Showcase your creativity, well-roundedness and great communications skills. Have professional images on your LinkedIn profile and portfolio website that showcases your unique skills and talents. Update your social media status and content to reflect your professional goals, achievements and accomplishments.

Things to Avoid

Avoid deleting your old social network profiles, because having some online presence is better than none. Some employers are less likely to call you if you don't have an online presence. Avoid posting provocative or inappropriate images, videos and information that may make people upset. Do not make discriminatory comments, talk about criminal behavior or write about using alcohol or drugs.

One high-profile example from August 2018 comes from a candidate for a highly coveted NASA internship. The space agency hired a young woman named Naomi, who posted two vulgar tweets about her position on social media. NASA revoked her internship after she engaged in an expletive-laden exchange with highly respected NASA engineer Homer Hickam.

Social media represents a valuable tool that you can use throughout a job search, but it's also a tool employers tap into when it comes to finding out more information about potential hires. What do you do to shore up your online persona to capture the attention of prospective employers?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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