Employers may be Watching
We have all seen the power of Social Media.
Whether it is within our personal group of friends with a funny video or picture getting a lot of likes/comments or maybe a more global issue that we otherwise would not have had any access, or even interest in. Anyone remember “what color is the Dress” from 2015?
When a Scottish mother of the bride posted a picture of her dress for the upcoming wedding on Tumblr asking people what color they though the dress was. Some saw it as blue and black and some saw it as white and gold. It practically “blew up” the internet and went viral. I doubt there was a single office that wasn’t discussing at length the next day what color they saw, at least ours was. In a world without Social Media would you ever have had access to a picture of a mother of the bride’s dress from a small wedding in Scotland? No, would you have cared if the story was spread by word of mouth instead of over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Probably not.
So what does this show us? Besides the fact that “The Dress” was so famous it now has its own Wikipedia page… It shows how connected social media is to every part of our lives. There is no hiding from it, or at least it is difficult. And there is no getting rid of something once it is “out on the line” as Vince Vanughn’s character in The Internship would say.
What, if anything, does this mean for us when we are job hunting? Well, like most things in life there are pro’s and con’s.
- More and more companies are using social media to recruit for open positions. In fact according to a survey last year by Monster.com 92% of companies use social media for staffing their open positions. I’m sure the other 8% aren’t far behind. There are a number of ways to connect with companies and individuals when looking for a new job! Social media conversations tend to be more intimate and relational from the start.
- Companies look at your profiles! You can say one things and your actions reflect another. So if you’re anything like me, and have have had a Facebook account since 2007, with 9 years of information on there, just waiting for someone to look at – you have been warned.
Behaving on Social Media
I’m sure you’ve all heard a story or two about someone getting fired because of content that they posted on social media, the most recent one I remember was back in February when an employee at Yelp in San Francisco wrote an open letter to the CEO outlining all of the problems she had with her job, income, and living situation. Very shortly after posting the letter she updated it with a notice that she had been fired and was surprised by that fact.
Her story started out on Medium.com but quickly went viral on all major Social Media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
It spread like wildfire, i.e. the power of social media.
If you are wondering whether you should post something or not, just remember that once it’s out there it’s out there for good, even if you try and delete it later.
1 – Don’t post negatively about current position/company
The temptation to vent on social media about your current company is strong, we get it. But resist. Just like in a job interview, nothing good will come of negative comments. And remember since 92% of companies are using social media for hiring, it’s a safe bet that someone at your current company knows enough to at least check it out every now and then.
2 – Don’t post inappropriate pictures, videos, or posts
Golden Rule – if you don’t want your parents to see you doing it, you don’t want to your boss or potential employer to see it either.
3 – Don’t be afraid to be yourself on Social Media
You want a balance of fun, conversational, business related that truly reflects you and your personality. You don’t want 100% of the focus to be career related but throwing in a few articles are mentions about your business professional attire from time to time can’t hurt. It’s all about balance
1 – Do clean up your Newsfeed
Social media has been around for a while, and there is “stuff” on your wall/feed from years ago that you’ve probably forgotten about. It’s worth the time to go through all of your old pictures and posts just to make sure there is nothing on there that you don’t want to be, especially the college years. Remember a friend of a friend could be your next boss.
2 – Do use an appropriate cover and profile image
Be smart about how you let people see you. Remember your profile picture is always shown right next to your name on most social media platforms. So make sure it is an appropriate picture. We recommend either doing a professional headshot as your profile, or a nice picture without others in it. Also make sure your cover image is the right dimensions for the platform you’re using and that it is a good representation of what you want people to think of you.
3 – Do curate your newsfeed
Remember, social media is about conversation, so be yourself! If someone looked at your profile what story would it tell? Talk about the things you enjoy and are passionate about. If you loving running don’t feel weird about posting your MapMyRun progress, if you love Game of Thrones and the most recent episode was spectacular talk about it with your friends.
Social Media will give hiring companies a full view of who you are, don’t be afraid to hide what makes you, you!
There you go, 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts when it comes to using social media in your job hunt. The good news is that Social Media opens up the doors to a lot of opportunities that weren’t there before, just be cautious.