“Of 2,184 hiring managers recently surveyed by CareerBuilder, one-fifth said a candidate’s online profile helped them land a position. More often, though, it backfires: 43 percent said they found information that led them not to hire a candidate, up 9 percentage points from last year,” — Bloomberg Businessweek, June 27, 2013.
Odds are good you’re involved with some form of social media. Maybe your tweeting on Twitter or perhaps you prefer looking up old friends on Facebook. It’s a great idea to be involved with social media and it may even help you with your job search networking – but beware. There are countless horror stories of people who lost their jobs or lost their chance at a job because of what they said when they thought no one was listening.
Well, the bad news is advertising your “wild” activities was a mistake. The good news, is that you can fix it.
Human resources departments are rapidly coming up to speed with candidate research. Their research now very regularly includes a scan of major social media and networking platforms for your name. If your name is associated with risqué photographs, extreme political rants, off-color or bias-indicating jokes, “liking” the wrong pages (e.g., direct competitors, questionable organizations) or assorted other faux pas, your application won’t be worth the paper on which it is written. It will go into the “circular file” faster than you can un-tag yourself.
Before you apply, clean up everything on your social media outlets. This might mean wiping photos or un-tagging yourself from photos posted by friends, deleting status updates or tweets, or un-liking certain pages.
In addition, make sure any claims you make on social media platforms regarding your education and experience are consistent and accurate. If a potential employer discovers you listed yourself as having a Ph.D. from Harvard on your LinkedIn site you created as a teenager and later forgot about, and that your more recent Facebook page says you graduated from the local state university last year with a Bachelor’s degree, those potential employers won’t think twice about chucking your application in the trash can.
Google your own name before you put pen to an application form. Know what your potential employer will see when he or she does the same thing, and make sure they will find only the most accurate, most recent, most flattering information when they conduct that search.
For more great tips on the job seeking process, contact us.