Job Seekers: 6 Tips For Cleaning Your Social Media Pages

The number of hiring managers who checked their candidates’ social media pages before making an offer increased 500% last year according to a recent survey. The survey cited strong background information, a professional image, company culture fit, and superior communication skills as some of the characteristics that hiring managers looked for during the vetting process. Meanwhile, managers said that provocative photos, drug and alcohol use, discriminatory comments, and negative comments about previous employers hindered job seekers on their road to employment.

Specifically, 21% of hiring managers said that they used social to seek out reasons not to hire candidates. Forty-one percent said that they would not even extend an interview to candidates, who they could not find on the web.

Consequently, some sources suggested that jobseekers create separate social media pages for their professional and personal personas. Others said that doing so would make applicants seem less trustworthy.

What does this mean for you?

Our 5 Pursuit Teams are now Hiring…

Data Analysts | Email: data@connectionsny.com
DevOps Engineers | Email: unix@connectionsny.com
Software Engineer in Test | Email prog@connectionsny.com
Senior Salesforce Developer | Email: web@connectionsny.com
Product Managers | Email: biz@connectionsny.com

and many more!

For starters, we will not tell you which option is right for you. At Connections of New York, we emphasize guiding and encouraging you throughout your career over giving you sets of hard and fast rules to live by.

However, if you are on social media, and currently looking to make a career change, you may want to consider these useful tips before starting your new job search.

Make Yourself Easy to Find

In a 2015 CIO.com article, Jayme Pretzloff, director of marketing for Wixon Jewelers, echoed the recent survey findings and told reporters that, “Not being on social media sites can absolutely hurt your chances of being recognized and, ultimately, hired.” Pretzloff went on to say that a strong social media presence demonstrated an acute awareness of the latest technologies.

In order to make yourself easier to find, make sure to adjust your privacy settings so that your “About Me” section and profile picture are public. (Note: You should privatize content that might be considered NSFW.)

Highlight your best attributes. Update your bio with information about your past work and education experience. Where it makes sense to do so, add industry keywords to showcase your knowledge. Mention your career goals (yes, even on social media) and list a few of your hobbies for additional interest.

Engage Key Audiences

Do you follow the leaders of your industry? Are you a member of any groups that are affiliated with your career goals? If not, now might be a good time to follow along and get involved.

Follow celebrities and join groups that reflect your personal and professional goals. While you want to be honest about your interests, it is safer to unlike any pages that are potentially controversial, or those that do not align with your professional goals.

Additionally, keep in mind that the key to engaging others on social media is to provide them with thoughtful feedback and/or useful information, that they can use to make well-informed decisions. Comment on interesting articles by your favorite writers. Compliment the people you admire.

Post in Peace and Positivity

Trust us. No one wants to work with a Debbie Downer. Before putting your social media handle on your resume or LinkedIn page, make sure you edit or delete any posts that you may have published in the past, which could be perceived as negative, offensive or polarizing to strangers.

Again, make sure to remove any pictures or references to weapons, drugs and alcohol. Privatize any photos that are provocative or sexually suggestive. Even if you published your posts in jest, you should generally take down anything that you wrote, which strangers might see as friend, foe, animal, race, religion, gender, organization or employer bashing.

“If you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of CareerBuilder, told Forbes. “Share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.”

Be always connected. Brutal serious bearded man sitting at the table and using cell phone

Use Social Media for Research

Social media is an excellent research tool. Job seekers can easily use it to look up hiring managers that they are slated to interview with. Businessnewsdaily.com says that social media is “a great place to meet employees and high-level executives.”

When you use social media for research, you can view photos and posts that can help you to get a better understanding of the culture at the companies you are interested in. You can read the tweets of the CEO at your dream company to get an understanding of his thought process. You can look up your interviewer to check out her previous experience or to see if you have any friends or colleagues in common. You can skim a company’s most recent posts to see how the media covered them.

When in Doubt Talk It Out

There is real value in working with a recruiter that you know and trust. A good recruiter understands the culture at the companies you hope to interview for. A great recruiter will be able to give you nuanced picture of whether or not your perspective boss will laugh or cringe at the pictures of you dressed to the nines for that zombie apocalypse party.

At Connections, you will never go into a job interview unprepared. Our founder and SVPs assembled Connections’ five pursuit teams to help you navigate the turbulent waters of the tech job market as efficiently as possible.

Network with… Well… Your Network

While social media can be a great way to meet and interact with leaders of industry. However, users must be extremely careful in how they approach reaching out. It is far too easy to spam or annoy a disinterested CEO. People can cross the line between keenly interested and creepy with the quick click of a button.

Social media is an excellent way for people to leverage their personal networks.

Congratulate a colleague on a recent accomplishment, work anniversary, or award to rekindle a beneficial working relationship. Praise your perspective boss for the work that he or she put into an insightful whitepaper. Offer a constructive review on a potential co-worker’s recently release product.

Ultimately, hiring managers who use social media look for clues that will help them to determine what your personality, communication skills and work ethic might be like outside of a professional setting. Since they use social media as a means of determining whether or not to extend an offer or an interview, be sure to make sure that their first (or perhaps their last) impression of you is one that you are proud of.

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