Looking for a job? Before applying for a new position, examine your social media profile.
Make sure that what you find will help and not hinder your opportunity with a prospective employer. If your public face is unflattering, clean it up. Failure to do so may cost you a coveted position. Employers are increasingly searching social media sites to look for potential hires with a professional image and good qualifications. Anything less and you may be rejected on the spot.
In a survey by CareerBuilder of some 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 43% rejected job applicants as a result of what they found on social media sites. Some of the reasons they said that knocked candidates out of the running for jobs include sharing racy or inappropriate photos (50%), poor communication skills (30%), bad-mouthing a previous employer (33%), and, discriminatory remarks relating to race, gender or religion (28%).
On the flip side social media gave some prospective employees an edge. One out of five respondents found social media information that led them to hire a candidate. At least half of the respondents said the profiles conveyed a professional image, revealed a well-rounded candidate and supported the candidate’s qualifications.
The 2013 survey found more employers are using social media to weed out candidates compared to last year.
Make sure your online persona reveals positive clues about your character, image and personality. Keep your social media presence positive by taking these steps:
•Search yourself. Google your name and check out other sites. Clean up any digital dirt.
•Update your LinkedIn profile and make sure it is accurate.
•Check your privacy settings regularly as they may change. Never post anything that would be unsuitable on the front page of a newspaper.
•Consider creating a profile that is strictly for business.
•Use good grammar. When commenting online, avoid typos and keep the content clean.
•Avoid ranting about an employer and co-workers.
•Post content that shows you are sociable and well-rounded.