The hiring process has changed a lot in recent years. It used to be the whole thing was relatively simple. Employers were limited to the information you provided on your CV, as well as the impression they got during your interview. Now, employers have access to a lot more information. With the rise of social media in our culture, all it takes is a simple google search, and an employer can find out exactly what you’ve been up to... From that croissant you had for breakfast and posted to Insta, to that time you partied for a week straight with your friends and bragged about it on Facebook.
Social media has changed things for employers and employees alike. Over 70% of recruiters now use social media to screen prospective candidates. For recruiters, social media is an excellent tool. It can help them confirm or put into question a candidate’s background and character. Something as simple as a spelling mistake could tip the scales in another candidate’s direction. So, which social media platforms are recruiters checking, and how can you make sure you don’t ruin your chances before you’ve even set foot in the door?
In order of importance...
LinkedIn is the first profile that an employer or recruiter will check for obvious reasons. LinkedIn has always been about connecting employers and potential employees. Make sure that whatever you put on your CV lines up with the information you have on your LinkedIn profile, and that you don’t omit any important facts. Any discrepancies between your work history on LinkedIn and your CV will immediately call your experience into question, even if you just smudged your dates by accident. Another common mistake people make on LinkedIn is posting inappropriate pictures or making controversial comments. LinkedIn just isn’t the place, and employers will judge you for it. Always keep things extra professional on this platform.
Facebook is the second profile that employers will look at. With Facebook, it’s important to remember to be just as mindful of your own activity, as the activity of your friends. Your chances can be just as hurt by a friend using slurs on a post you liked, as if you made those slurs yourself. To prevent your reputation being damaged by what other people are doing, set your settings appropriately. Restrict comments or posts on your page if you must, or if you want total peace of mind, just set your page to private.
Twitter has been the downfall of many a prospective employee. Traditionally a platform for sharing status updates with friends, Twitter is now popular with businesses as well. People have a tendency to be lax on Twitter, and just post whatever comes to mind. The result is often a string of ill-considered posts, possibly with spelling mistakes thrown in for good measure. You can see how an employer might be turned off. Have a care when posting to Twitter and try to share tweets relevant to your industry. Ask yourself: would Trump say this? If the answer is yes, reconsider your tweet immediately.
Instagram is essentially a photo-sharing platform. Employers will often check an Instagram profile to gauge a candidate’s character. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you aren’t posting anything that says: DON’T HIRE ME. The simplest way to protect yourself is to make your profile private. If you like to keep your profile on public, make sure you are aware of who may be looking at your photos. Namely, your next (or not!) boss.
Quora is a newer platform built to allow people to ask and answer questions. It’s a community-based platform, great for knowledge-sharing, but it can also be a place where employers go to look into you. If you have a Quora profile, your activity can be highly revealing. The types of questions you ask, as well as the answers you give could serve to confirm or disconfirm your expertise to a prospective employer. If Quora is a tool that you use, make sure you are always thoughtful in your responses. You never know who might be reading them down the line!
Social media is an amazing tool for employers and employees alike. As a potential employee, you can also use your social media to sway an employer in your favor! Maintaining a positive and responsible online presence can show an employer that you are the kind of thoughtful individual they are looking for. As an employer, it’s important to remember not to judge too harshly either. After all, social media is supposed to be fun!
At VanGo, we enjoy spending time looking at what all you awesome influencers and entrepreneurs are doing out there on the world wide web. We take our inspiration from the world around us, so thank you for everything you do! Tag us #VanGoFam for a shout out.