A two-page CV is no longer the only information your employer will see when you apply for a job. 90% of those offering positions now admit to looking at your LinkedIn to suss you out, and over half will then try to get a scoop about you from Facebook and Twitter (Jobvite).
We look at the important social media steps you must take to be sure you are not ruining your career chances.
Keep your private life private
As many as 58% of us in the UK are allegedly revealing all on social media by sharing our profiles publicly, according to a study by The Safe Shop. That means your profile can be viewed in its entirety, by anyone, at any time.
The first step to address this is to selectively privatise your profiles. You can choose who views your photos, posts and other important information. With careful attention, you can afford to post as you would, without worrying that your latest holiday snaps are being spied.
To make your Facebook and Twitter profiles are private, follow this step-by-step guide.
Monitor your mates
Whilst your friends might not see the harm in a funny shot from the weekend, tagging you in a photo could cost if you wouldn’t be happy for your potential boss to see it.
Keep on top of the content you’re involved with, especially if it’s not your own post. Facebook has introduced a feature allowing you to review and accept or deny any content that you are tagged in, meaning you can pre-empt any potential professional pitfalls.
To monitor posts before they upload to your Facebook Wall, follow this tutorial.
Avoid needless negativity
It’s good to have opinions, but be careful to balance the views that you would be happy to share with your close friends, compared to the millions of people online. If you can see a certain view flaring heated responses, or rubbing up a potential boss the wrong way, then steer clear.
You can review your social media profiles, which means employers can to. So, aside from biting your tongue on occasion it’s equally important that you look retrospectively at posts you have shared in the past. The views of your 17-year-old self may not present the mature person your employer is in search of.
Keep up with your industry
Aside from the tip-toeing you must do to give a best impression online, another study found that 65% of recruiters use social media to see if prospective candidates present themselves professionally. If you use this to your advantage, you’re in with a much better chance of getting that interview.
On Twitter, follow the key influencers in your employers industry and retweet and favourite related content.
If you show your own initiative by writing about your industry, then share this on your social platforms to demonstrate your extra-mile.
And if you do get the job…don’t bad mouth work
Industry commentary? Yes. A tweet that names and shames your annoying boss? Absolutely not.
Not only does moaning about work detract from any professionalism and hinder your future prospects, but many companies actually have their own non-disclosure agreements that you’ll sign upon your employment. Breaking that agreement can land you back in the job-seeking pond.
With a competitive job market, it’s vital that you don’t risk an opportunity for the sake of a status. Avoid being judged unfairly by keeping these steps in mind and using social media to promote, not hinder, your chances of a dream job.