To execute a successful job search you need all the right tools and strategies in place.
You need to make sure that:
- You’ve customized and carefully reviewed your resume. √
- You have prepared your elevator pitch and networking strategy. √
- You’ve written cover letters, follow-up notes, and thank you notes. √
- You have figured out your Social Media Strategy…
Our social media profiles are very much a part of our personal and professional brand. However, many people do not think about their profiles when searching for a job.
And what about employers?
We surveyed HR Professionals to ask them how social media plays into their hiring practices and found that 91% of them use social media before making hiring decisions. And regarding how and why they use social, three reasons stand out from the rest.
3 Most Important Things Employers Look for on Social Media Profiles
Completing a Cross Check
The #1 reason employers are looking at your social media accounts is to cross check them with the story on your resume. In particular, companies are using LinkedIn (98% of those using social media will at least review LinkedIn) to complete a career story that a resume can’t always provide – or to find points of disparity, an indicator that you may be trying to hide parts of your career to a certain employer.
While we do not advocate lying on your resume or social media accounts, we do want you to remember that if the two do not tell the same story, it creates a red flag. Be sure that your job titles and dates of employment match your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you are a seasoned executive who chooses to hide their graduation date on their resume, do the same elsewhere. The last thing you want to do is have the employer wondering: “why did they choose to misrepresent this information on their resume?”
The good news is that since almost everyone is checking your LinkedIn profile – you have a great opportunity
to deliver more information and personality than your resume and cover letter alone can convey.
Identifying Your Online Brand: Professional VS. Relaxed
Social media is a great way to express who you are as a person, and you can be sure that employers will be comparing the ‘you’ who shows up to the interview with the ‘you’ they found online. That being said, many respondents in our survey said they realize social media (commonly Facebook, or Twitter), can be part of one’s personal life. “People are entitled to a business profile and personal (profile), ” said one respondent. Another respondent added “LinkedIn is a professional site, and there should be no perception of privacy,” whereas “Facebook is a social site…”
So can social media users rest assured that whatever they post on ‘personal’ networks has no impact on hiring decisions? Of course not. When asked if an inappropriate post or photo on social media would be considered a deal breaker, 23% of respondents said they would stop considering the candidate, and 62% said it would be a concern they would address in the interview.
Given this information, feel comfortable knowing that Facebook, Twitter, and other more personal networks are a fine place to loosen up and be social (without going overboard). But for LinkedIn, accept the fact that you will need to keep it professional.
What Kind of Person Are You: Finding the Fit
When it comes to making hires, a candidate who has stellar achievements and checks all the boxes will usually be a poor hire if they don’t fit the company culture. Social media allows companies to screen for cultural fit even before calling candidates for a phone or in-person interview. A person who creates a negative attitude on social media is likely to bring that attitude into the workplace. But it’s not just about attitude.
Social media can help show your personality, interests, affiliations – and ultimately – cultural fit. You can represent this in a few ways:
- Topics You Tweet About
- Hashtags or Trending Topics You Engage With
- People or Companies You Retweet or Engage With
- Topics You Post About
- Content You Share
- Pages You Like
- Groups You Participate With
- Influencers You Follow
- Volunteering Experiences (on Your Profile)
- Causes or Organizations You Care About (on Your Profile)
- Projects You Have Participated In (on Your Profile)
- Interests (on Your Profile)