They say not to judge a book by its cover but in this digital age, social media is the book that reveals the character of a person and your profile picture seems to be the cover that will determine their first impression of you. If this is the primary source for a stranger to find out more about you, then you best be assured that your future employer will do the same.
With the advancement of technology, it is unlikely that jobseekers do not own at least one social media profile as the internet is the main place where they look for job openings. We use it to research about the companies that we are interested in but little did we know that employers also does the same with us. According to research, 70 percent of employers do admit looking up potential candidates on social media beforehand to best fit their company.
What’s more shocking is that 2 out of 9 employers found a reason not to hire the candidate. So, being aware of what is posted online about yourself is pivotal in getting employed. Let’s take a look at some precautions to save you before your next interview:
Stalk yourself online
It might sound a little crazy but you’ll be thanking yourself for carrying out this step. At times, we are unaware with the posts, links and pictures connected to our social media accounts. Hence, set apart a time after preparing all the documents for your next application and Google yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer and ask yourself, ‘would you hire me?’
Clear it out
If your answer wasn’t yes, then this next step is a definite yes. Find any improper information such as drunk or provocative pictures, mean or vulgar posts that will make you less likely to be hired and delete them or change the settings of those posts, videos or pictures to ‘only me’. This way you can still keep them and also have a clean profile. Deactivate any accounts that you don’t use anymore. It will be easier for you to keep track with just the few main ones that you do use. Just like bad things that happen, we can’t undo it but we can try to forget it and move on with a clean slate.
Make your accounts private
If the previous step wasn’t enough of assurance, then just simply private your accounts and make sure the next time you add a person, they are not from your professional network like colleagues or bosses. Some social media like Facebook and Instagram allows you to show posts or stories to only to your close friend list, so make use of it. Spring clean your friend list to only people you actually still keep in touch with and are on good terms with and unfriend or delete those who might be detrimental to your future. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Have a proper profile picture
This has to be the most important step of all as it is the first thing that pops up on your account even when it’s on private. You don’t have to take a studio photo and be dressed formally but putting up a decent photo would be a winning strategy. Avoid uploading pictures of yourself in bikinis or even worse no picture at all. Pictures speak a thousand words, so be sure that yours speak positively of the person you are.
Ensure your resume and social media are in sync
Having a consistent branding for companies in all platforms be it online or offline is important and that applies to your personal brand as well. Do not lie about your qualifications or experiences on your resume because when employers dig in your social media profiles and find the truth, they will never hire you again. No one wants a dishonest person to work for their company because it could affect their company in the future as well. As such, do crosscheck with all the information put in the resume such as a sample of your work or experiences that you’ve gained. Have proof of what you have written in your resume and posted online.
Use social media to your benefit
It’s not all bad on the internet. Social media can be added advantage to most if properly used. For those in the creative industry such as writers or graphic designers, it is a good portal to showcase their write-ups and attract brands or companies that would want to work with them. Digital marketers can post their creative videos and editing skills on YouTube as their portfolio and designers can post photos of their artworks on Instagram. It’s just the way we use the resources we have in a positive manner.
Now that you have gone through all these steps, you are fully ready to send in that application and hopefully obtain the job that you want. But keep in mind that even after joining the company, employers will be still keeping track of your social media profiles.
So, be mindful and keep a good positive image throughout. Good luck!
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half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women connecting you to career opportunities at companies that care. Providing you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the rapidly changing workplace.