You probably already know recruiters are looking at your LinkedIn page, but what about your other social media platforms? You know, the ones where you post pictures of your latest vacation, share what you had for dinner and occasionally tag your friends in memes. Why, you might wonder, would a recruiter possibly be interested in viewing things like that?
“As it turns out, those personal details are precisely why recruiters and hiring managers monitors applicants’ social media accounts, can help them get a more accurate idea about who you are outside of your resume – a more personal view into your life.” – sais a recruiter from Skillroads resume writing service. A resume can tell them your qualifications, but your social media profile can help them determine your personality type and if you would be a good fit for company culture.
Moreover, recruiters are looking for red flags – photos, bad language, signs of drugs use, that would show them you’d be a less than ideal man or woman to have in their offices.
So now that you know why they are looking, how about knowing what they’re looking at? Here are the top five things that they are on the lookout for:
- Poor communication skills: This is probably the thing that they will notice most quickly. If a hiring manager reads a status of yours, which is totally riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, then they may think twice about hiring you.
- Drink and drugs: Any evidence of using of drugs or drinking alcohol is a clear decision maker for many employers. Clearly, a glass of wine with you boy/girlfriend in a beautiful location will not do much harm but…use your discretion. Just remember that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do not notify you when someone has viewed your profile…
- Provocative or inappropriate content: That means videos, photos and statuses. You may be very proud of the all-body tan you got by visiting all those nudists beaches but future employers will not appreciate seeing your bronzed behind.
- Bad-mouthing previous employers or colleagues: I have always been of the attitude that expressing strong opinions on social media is dangerous ground. No matter how frustrating or unfairly you feel you have been treated, sharing it on the internet can only work against you.
- Discriminatory comments: Expressing prejudice or dislike for certain types of people, cultures, religion, sexualities or gender etc. is a one way ticket to the discarded pile. Nobody can tell you what to think or how to feel…but they can advise you that it will lose you jobs if potential employers discover it on social media.
Recruiters and hiring managers are concentrating their efforts on two sections of your Facebook page – your “about me” section, and your photo albums.
Hiring managers want to see how you describe yourself and if it matches up how you have described yourself in your cover letter and resume. Any discrepancies could cost you points pre-interview. What’s more, recruiters will also be looking for proper spelling and grammar in this section, to see how seriously you take those skills.
When it comes to your photos albums, a hiring manager will be checking not only your photos but also your descriptions. A hiring manager wants to see if you represent yourself in a professional way. To come off in the most positive pre-meeting light, you will want to avoid using profanity, sexual or drug references.
Recruiters like to see if you have any mutual connections and if you are connected with others in your industry. Following others in your industry is a smart thing to do no matter what – watching their feeds can give you a scoop on a new job opening, company announcements, the latest tech and much more. Recruiters will be checking to see if you share useful information, if you share information relevant to your trade or if you just use tweets to fight with others. If you are applying for a job, take a look at your tweeting history and consider deleting anything that won’t show your best – and most thoughtful – self to a potential employer.
Recruiters will check out the kind of followers you attract. Plus, they’ll want to see how friendly and social you seem to be with your followers. What you say to them and what you say back, that can also give them insight your personal relationships and if you would be a good cultural fit for the company.
You probably figured this, right? But recruiters are looking to see more than your photography skills (or lack thereof). They will want to see how you represent yourself. For example, if you are at a party, do you represent yourself in a dignified way?, or, do you post things that others would consider inappropriate?
Do not go overboard customizing your LinkedIn. Unlike Twitter or Instagram, the professional network is not the place to post inspirational quotes or use tropical landscapes as your cover photo. Recruiters do care about your creative expression – they just do not want to see it on LinkedIn.
Instead, creating and linking out to your professional website, where you can show a lot more creativity than what your resume might illustrate. In other words, if you are worried your social presence shows too much aptitude and not enough attitude, just building a new venue for that latter can provide you with a competitive advantage.