Research conducted by Monster.co.uk and YouGov has revealed that 56% of UK HR professionals admit that a candidate’s online reputation has an influence on their hiring decision and 65% admit to Googling a candidate during the hiring process.
The unavoidable truth is that employers and recruiters are using social media to pre-screen candidates so it’s increasingly important to consider what you’re sharing.
With everyone active in the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, you have an online footprint that follows wherever you go and one that can unfortunately be detrimental to your professional reputation if you’re not careful.
Here’s our top 10 social media tips for managing your online reputation:
1. Use social media to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ companies or connect and interact with influencers who work in the industry you’d like to get into. This is a great way to show recruiters that you’re engaging with relevant people in your sector.
2. From time to time, companies use social media to advertise their job vacancies, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for vacancy updates.
3. Give your digital footprint a ‘spring clean’. Google yourself and find out what employers can see and take the opportunity to clean up unwanted photos and embarrassing status updates.
4. Think carefully about your privacy settings on social networks. A potential employer isn’t likely to be impressed by your drunken pool party photos from “Aiya Napa ’09” …
5. Use social media (especially LinkedIn) to let people know that you’re in search of new opportunities. A connection may know about a job opening that you don’t or be able to point you in the right direction to leverage your search.
6. Use your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to share and comment on relevant industry news. Social media can be a really powerful tool to build your personal brand and it’s also a great way to show an employer you are commercially aware, making you a much more attractive candidate.
7. Be careful about the things you say online. Foul language and tweeting about your ‘2-day hangover’ is unlikely to be what a prospective employer is looking for. If you can’t resist, then make your accounts private.
8. You may wish to hide personal details and information that you have public on your social media profiles; it is illegal for employers to make decisions in the hiring process based on your gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or any other information, so don’t leave yourself open to any kind of discrimination.
9. Choose a profile photo that reflects the professional and sensible side of you, not a photo that reflects your wild side on a messy night out…especially on LinkedIn.
10. Finally, don’t speak negatively about your current or previous employers. So you’ve had a bad day at work? Turning to your social media account to vent your anger is not the solution. You never know who might see this and you don’t want potential employers to think you’ll do the same about their company should they hire you.
In short, unless you’re using your social media accounts to build a profile that reflects your career aspirations, make your profile a private one.
A social media reputation is now equally important for companies to communicate their employer brand, find out more in our blog: 3 ways your social media can attract top talent.