Your presence on social media and its impact on your future career

A couple of years ago, the process of finding a job used to be a very direct business. A candidate would apply for a job, if suitable they would be invited for an interview and if in the end they fit the profile and requirements they were offered a position within the company. Fast forward to this day in age, the introduction of social media has added an extra layer of involvement to the job process and its complexity. This means that there is more that a candidate needs to take into account when applying for a position, especially when it comes to their online presence.

Social media has become an inevitable tool for recruiting personnel. Your profile on social media can have a major impact on your job opportunities. Social recruiting is becoming an integral part of many HR departments with most employers making use of social media to screen candidates. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google allow employers to gather an idea of candidates away from just their resume, cover letter and interviews . When using social recruiting, employers usually look at the candidates’ online behavior, information that supports the job qualifications, how the candidate interacts with other users and what other users are saying about the candidate .

This means that before you make the decision to apply for a job, that you would have to administer how people see you online. Those Facebook pictures of you playing beer pong are probably not going to help you get that corporate job that you were long dreaming of. The good thing about social media is that you can still keep your private life separate from your professional, without having to manage two different accounts. All social media platforms have a privacy setting option. If you really, truly need to share your night out on your social media page you can do so, but make sure to only share this post with your friends. The rule of thumb, when in doubt don’t share it OR leave it on private.

Over-sharing is another issue that employers often deal with. Some people find joy in sharing their day-to-day activities with their friends and family, from the moment they wake up to that romantic dinner with the person of their dreams. To each their own, but keep in mind that companies are looking at your profile and making their decisions based on what you are sharing with the world. Sharing too much Is often seen as an untrustworthy trait, and can reflect negatively on your personality. By sharing less you are already saying more about yourself.

When using social media platforms such as LinkedIn to apply for jobs, make sure that your profile is always relevant and up to date. What constitutes a good LinkedIn profile? Your LinkedIn profile should have your most relevant and complete employment history listed. If your LinkedIn details do not correlate with your CV you are damaging the chances of obtaining an interview request. You should also try to connect with people from the same industry or follow related groups. This will strengthen your relevancy to the job that you are looking for.

However, a recent article written by the protection working party in Europe states that employers are not aloud to screen a candidate’s profile without a really good reason or without informing them prior to the screening. Essentially, if you keep an updated profile, your information is truthful, and you have a professional online presence you have already passed the social media ‘test’. Use social media to highlight your skills, expertise and professionalism, and get the job you deserve!

For more tips on how to present yourself on social media click here.

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