As a graduate or job seeker, you should make use of the social media to present your honest and up-to-date CV. By having a solid online presence, you will not only expand your network but also impress potential employers. As simple as using social media websites can be, there are many traps that you should avoid in order to make yourself presentable, from a career perspective. In this article, we’ll share with you the most useful social media tips for job seekers.
How does social media affect job applicants
In today’s job search, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ play an important role, as about one-third of the employers require candidates to list out their social media accounts1. CareerBuilder, a famous job hunting board, asked their enormous amount of employers about how they research candidates via social networks. 65% of the participants in the survey say that they use social media to know how the job seeker presents himself professionally. About half of them would like to know whether the seeker would do well to the company culture, while another 45% are interested in their qualifications. Some employers browse the profile to know if the candidate leads a well-rounded life, or if “there is any reason not to hire the candidate”. This statistic should explain why you’d benefit from using social media to find a job.
Here are the basis of learning how to use social media properly for your career:
There is a reason why Facebook keeps updating your privacy settings: your information can always get hacked, and the things you intend to keep private end up open for the world to see. Even worse, someone may take your account and post misleading content, making your friend list and profile visitors have a falsified impression of you. By stealing your identity, the hacker can even commit crimes like stalking, swindling or making use of your acquaintances.
First of all, you need to learn about the privacy policies of the sites you use. These rules exist to help you control how you appear online, however, the sites do make use of your private content, activity, and connection. If you are not comfortable with having your online conversations being read by a bot all the time or having the pages you like to appear on your friend’s timeline then it’s best to use two separate accounts for friends, family and another for professional connections.
Sites like Facebook and Instagram constantly update their privacy settings, which might make your private content public after an update. Therefore, it’s wiser to check how you appear to others online by accessing your profile anonymously with incognito tab, or by borrowing your friend’s account. A crucial rule of thumb is to check your privacy setting every once in a month.
The Internet never forgets, what you once posted may be still archived by search engines. You may have deleted the content on your profile, but the encrypted information would be saved forever on trash dumps (sites exist purely for storing every information on the Internet). One Google search could lead to the pictures you wouldn’t want anyone to see, let alone your future employers. Forbes conducted a research which showed an alarming result: up to 70% of recruiters reject a candidate because of a piece of information they found online. Always think twice before posting anything “edgy” or “out of the box”.
Your personal space online is not really personal. Even when you set your status private or exclusive, hackers would find a way to read and spread the information to the public. Be cautious about what and how much personal information you provide online.
Using social medias is partly accepting that you can be a victim at any time. It’s true that most site providers are trying their best to keep you protected, but 55,000 new malware being released daily can always get into a crack. The most effective methods to protect yourself online include:
- Invest in identity theft protection. Hackers love your passwords because they are the key to your whole online identity and private information. It goes without saying that you should set a different password for every account and keep them organized physically. Don’t keep your password on your phone or the online profile itself. Try making the password totally unrelated to your personal information. Combos of characters, numbers, and alphabets are harder to guess.
- Click with cautions. Surveys like “Who is your future partner” are not only untrue, they are also click baits used by shady business to collect your personal information. Avoid filling questionnaires with any details like your middle name, age or place of birth, as financial institutions may use them to verify your identity.
- Always check before allowing permission from third parties to access your data. Once you’ve clicked agree, they are able to access your location and activity whether you are using the application or not.
- Prevent geolocation apps that can track your physical location through GPS, which let stalkers and criminals know whether you are at home or not.
- Always use credible browsers, domains and service providers.They offer the best services there is, with fewer security flaws and are free.
- Have a security suite with proper antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, a firewall, and a website safety advisor.
3. Build your reputation online
Despite all of the dangers, your online reputation plays a big role in winning you a good work position. Recruiters nowadays respond well to a strong personal brand online. You can make yourself to be a smart, thoughtful user for the environment.
- Know who would view your profile, and act accordingly. Social networks were born to help you create a fun circle of friends and connect them from the varied aspects of your life. What makes you funny to your friends may make you silly to the employers, so make sure to set the settings to manage the information you show to different groups. If you plan on making a living on your public persona (as with bloggers or experts), you can create fan pages that encourage crowd engagement and limit your personal information.
- Subtly show off your strengths, advantages, and competence. Unlike the old times, when you can only make the world know about your crafting skills by showing the items around, right now you can boast about your hobbies without being ignorant. Frequent images about your daily activities, achievement and qualification will gain you a nod from employers.
- Set up tagging reviews2, so that when your friend tags you into something, you can check whether it will appear on your timeline or not.
- Use smart language. The way you speak online is usually similar to how you speak in real life. The employers will know how you’d interact with coworkers from your conversation with friends online. You are an adult and it’s okay to swear, but speaking with profanity online will become a part of who you are.
- Grammar and spelling check. If you don’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”, then you don’t come off as an eligible participant, and it’s high time that you learn basic grammar. Spell check tool like Grammarly can be installed in your browser and check everything you type with correct suggestions, making you sound like a much more intelligent person.
4. What you should not do
Delete any statuses and pictures with the contents similar to below, and refrain from posting them in the future:
- Information about work-related matters. While your status about the harsh deadline may be light-hearted, it could be a valuable piece of information to your company’s competitors.
- Complaints. You don’t like your teacher in a university or your boss? Well, a lot of people don’t either, but those who post about it online are considered unprofessional. Genuine complaints should always be made with official procedures. Your future employers would get the impression that these complaints appeared in your timeline in such negative manner, thus decrease your competence for the job.
- Embarrassing things that you would not want to speak to people in public. Those silly things do not contribute to your reputation.
- Abusive, offensive and illegal content. It is understandable that you have your own world view, but a feed with an excessive argument, rants and discrimination will make you come across as an overly negative person that is not needed in any business organization. Worse yet, some extreme content can make you disqualified for a job and end up in court.
Being a master in using social media tips for job seekers is as crucial as having a polished cover letter or a solid resume in today’s life. Social sites are more than a place to share with your friends and family, they give your future employer a defined vision of who you would be in their organization. They are also a mean for you to show the world that you are a well-rounded person that is needed to add variation and motivation to a workspace.
By knowing how to protect your security, privacy and reputation online, as well as polish your image, you are in for a better consideration from job recruiters.