In a tough job market, applicants need to use every weapon in their arsenal to ensure they stay one step ahead of the competition.
For new graduates with similar qualifications and little or no experience to differentiate them from their peers it’s even tougher.
More and more recruiters are checking the social media profiles of applicants from Facebook profiles to Twitter posts. A recent survey stated as many as 90% of recruiters and hiring managers have looked at potential candidate profile’s on social networking sites to get a better idea of their character and personality, and to determine how they would fit within the culture of their organisation.
All this public content makes up your personal brand, and it’s up to you to manage it effectively.
From Facebook photos, Twitter posts, Instagram photos, whatever you post you should expect a recruiter to look for and find. So what do you do? The best thing is to be aware of what content is out there to ensure you won’t be rejected as a result of what a recruiter finds. Most of all, make sure what you put out there is what you wouldn’t mind others finding.
See what a recruiter will find if they search for you. Even if there is something negative out there that you can’t do anything about, make sure you’re aware of it.
Clean up Twitter and Facebook posts
It’s easy to delete and untag any posts or photos you wouldn’t want a recruiter finding. Keep track of other sites with your content such as Flickr and YouTube. If it’s out there, it can be found!
Create professional profiles
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of the first places a recruiter will look for you. Even a profile highlighting your basic education and career history is better than nothing, but make sure you’re completely honest, and that your CV matches your profile.
ViewsOnYou: Where LinkedIn is about what and who you know, a ViewsOnYou profile is about what you’re like beyond qualifications and experiences. Review yourself to highlight what you consider are your key traits and characteristics, then invite your peers (friends, co-workers, employers, etc) to review you. The reviews aggregate to form a complete picture of what you’re like (there are no positives or negatives, no scores). You may not agree with your profile, but it doesn’t mean it’s not exactly what a recruiter is looking for.
Social media and networks are extremely powerful tools if used correctly, but job seekers should be careful about exactly what they post online, and make sure that it’s not likely to come back to haunt them, or hurt their future employment or career prospects.