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CAREER CORNER

IU Southeast

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

used Twitter.

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.

LINKEDIN

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.

Do’s

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

friends.

Don’ts

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

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

Do’s:

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’ts:

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

hour.

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

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.

Do’s:

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

field.

Don’ts:

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.