Summer/Fall 2015 35
Many of us use social media to connect with friends, to post
photos of our lives or even to play games. How many of us
actively think about the impact that social media can have
when we look for jobs?
According to Jobcast, in 2014, 94 percent of employers
viewed job candidates’ social media accounts, and 73 percent
of employers hired candidates by using social media. To view
candidates’ social media activity, 93 percent of employers
used LinkedIn, 66 percent used Facebook and 54 percent
While the majority of job candidates – 83 percent -- had active
Facebook accounts in 2014, only 40 percent of candidates
had active Twitter accounts and only 36 percent of candidates
had active LinkedIn accounts.
Evenwhenwe have active social media accounts, wemay
sometimes use them inways that could prevent us fromgetting
jobs we want. Employers look at content and photos when
viewing social media accounts, and theymay continue to check
their employees’ accounts after they are hired. As a result, it’s
important to knowwhat to post and what not to post.
As the site several employers look to when evaluating job
candidates’ social media activity, LinkedIn is a powerful tool.
LinkedIn enables its users to professionally network with
each other, and candidates can even network with potential
employers. Each LinkedIn user’s page is similar to a resume,
because each person can add jobs, education, and other
experience and qualifications.
Add your entire work experience to your account.
According to Forbes, you don’t know what criteria, skills
or experiences specific employers are looking for, because
any potential employer can view your account. As a result,
you should include all the work you’ve done.
Upload a current, professional photo of yourself – and only
yourself. Employers want to see candidates at their best,
and they don’t want to be shocked when a candidate really
looks nothing like the person on LinkedIn. They definitely
don’t want to see photos of candidates partying with their
Don’t lie. Employers check social media accounts after
interviews to find out if candidates lied about qualifications
discussed in the interview or outlined in the resume.
Don’t ignore the summary section. According to Forbes,
the summary section is where you sell yourself. In the
summary, include at least a couple of relevant aspects of
your life, and write in the first person.
Facebook has a wide variety of features. Its users can play
games, upload photos, join groups, share links, and much
more. With more features, there’s more room for mistakes
you can make, so it’s important to take steps to make your
Facebook page attractive to employers.
Social media accounts: Employers are watching
Edit your privacy settings to hide any old posts on your
timeline that might make you seem unprofessional or
immature. The timeline allows anyone to see everything
you’ve ever posted on Facebook. For example, depending
on the person, some content from high school or college
could be problematic. Some people may not want
employers to see that content. If you’re one of those people,
hide the posts.
Post professional content. Write about and post photos of
your accomplishments. Update your cover photo to reflect
an accomplishment or an aspect of your professional life.
Include links to projects you’ve done, if applicable.
Don’t overdo anything. Don’t share or upload a million
photos. Don’t share your game progress on your timeline
every time you beat a level. Don’t update your status every
Don’t upload any photos that show you’re inappropriately
dressed or you’re under the influence of anything,
including alcohol. The photos may make employers form a
negative impression of you.
Twitter is the site that proves you can make – or break – your
professional self in 140 characters or less. Even though
Twitter is more limited than Facebook and LinkedIn,
employers still consider Twitter a valuable resource to
determine if job candidates are worthy of positions and to see
what their employees are doing.
Proofread your tweets. While you only have 140 characters
to express yourself for each tweet, you should still ensure
your tweets don’t have grammar and spelling mistakes.
Make sure your tweets are clear and concise.
Tweet about your career field or the career field you want
to go into. Use hashtags and tweet links that are related
to that field. In addition to attracting employers to your
account, it can show them you’re dedicated to your chosen
Don’t use too many hashtags. This problem can be avoided
if you only hashtag the most relevant words in your tweets.
Don’t launch yourself into debates by retweeting or
replying to controversial tweets. Try not to post about
controversial topics, either. Getting involved in long
debates could make you look unprofessional to employers.
In the future, the top three social media platforms employers
use to evaluate job candidates may change. However, the
guidelines listed on this page can apply to other platforms.
Take a moment to evaluate your social media activity, and
make any changes you need to make based on the guidelines.
Above all, remember that your posts could make a big
difference to your professional life.