In 2018, the number of people using social media reached over 3 billion. Considering its widespread usage and the level of information we share on it, it should be of no surprise that potential employers can and will use social media to check applicants out. So how do we make sure our social media isn’t negatively affecting our job hunt?
Donal O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Sanderson Ireland, recently spoke to TodayFM about some simple things job seekers should be taking into consideration when it comes to their social media. Here are some of Donal’s dos and don’ts that applicants should be thinking about when it comes to their internet presence:
- Optimise your professional profile and build your online brand.
- Think about what you’re sharing.
- Google yourself.
- Research the company’s social media account if you’re invited to interview.
This includes things such as using an appropriate photo, thinking about keywords, checking spelling and grammar, adding files to stand out from the crowd (i.e. presentation, video etc.). In a nutshell, showcase your skills, experience and interests.
If you’ve read an article that interests you or watched a video giving great career advice, share it on LinkedIn. Employers will be encouraged if they see you have an active interest in furthering your knowledge, keeping up-to-speed with your industry and promoting a positive attitude.
Google your name, not forgetting to check Google images to see what is visible to the public. Use this time to do an audit of your online presence and manage what you do and don’t want on show.
This seems simple but the company social media accounts are a great place to stay up-to-date with their latest news, stories and events. It’s also a great place to learn about their company culture so that you can see if you’d be a good fit.
- Don’t let your social life cost you the job.
- Don’t connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn.
- Don’t lie or over embellish.
- Don’t use LinkedIn like it is your personal Twitter or Facebook account.
As mentioned, many employers will use social media to check out an applicant so it’s worth changing your security settings on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. That way you can keep things private and stay in control.
When invited for an interview follow the company page but don’t follow the interviewer – this can seem pushy and presumptive. It’s generally best practice to only connect with your interviewer if you’ve been offered the position.
You will get caught out. Tell the truth on your CV because your social media accounts can easily be used to disprove anything you falsely claim to be true.
It should remain professional. Oversharing, dramatising and telling people what you ate for lunch will put people off. Be interesting, not irritating.
To listen to Donal’s talk on TodayFM about how social media could be affecting your job search, click here.
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The Managing Director of Sanderson Recruitment Ireland spends 60 seconds with the industry publication.