So while scrolling down your feed, you find a borderline offensive but darkly humorous Facebook post that you’re dying to share or you notice that you’ve been tagged in a couple of party photos.
If you find yourself under this kind of dilemma, you should probably rethink before sharing that photo or status. Chances are, prospective employers might be watching and you wouldn’t want to share that greasy photo of yourself spazzed out in the living room while you’re still on the lookout for a job, right?
A survey administered by Careerbuilder.com asserted that 60% of employers and recruiters utilize social media to scout and review prospective candidates, so whatever you share on social media can make or break your career exploits.
So what can you do in the meantime? While you’re still waiting for prospective job employers to respond, here’s what you should show and not show on social media while you’re job-hunting:
Do Not Show Unflattering Photos
While it’s a given that your LinkedIn account has to look professional (since that’s what LinkedIn is really for), the rest of your social media accounts also have to follow suit. From your Twitter page down to your Instagram, you have to at least look presentable. You wouldn’t want people to have access to unflattering photos of last night’s inuman session, right? Whether your posts are set to “Friends Only” or not, your posts, after all, are still public. It’s best to apply the same kind of tone and caution when it comes to commenting on your other friends’ posts, too.
Do Stay Consistent
If you intend to show photos of your current and previous work, you have to make sure that they match what you’ve written about yourself on your resume. You wouldn’t want to use a photo of yourself as a broadcaster from two years ago when you’re already a makeup artist elsewhere, right? In a way, your social media account is also your online portfolio by default. Learn to tweak your profile so that your employers would also know what you’re legitimately doing.
Do Use a More Professional Username
Although it’s expected that you’ll sound more cordial in your LinkedIn profile, it’s best to maintain a similar tone when it comes to your other social media accounts. Recruiters would find it hard to take you seriously if your Google e-mail address has “shinyunicorn260” as its name – sure, you got a kick out of that during your high school years but not in the professional world. Pick a username that you can keep professionally – the first initial of your name and your surname can do – and stay consistent with the rest of your accounts so it would be easier for prospective employers to keep track of where to find you.
Do Stay Conscious and Concise
How you use your words online says a lot about you, especially on LinkedIn – you wouldn’t want to look as though your professional accounts can only do so much. Be wary of your sentence construction and your grammar online. Unless your tweets are locked, everything that you post online are under public domain and you’re literally putting yourself out there, so in order to sound good, you’ll still have to be more mindful of the language that you use.
Do Stay Positive
Realistically speaking, it’s impossible to stay positive all the time, but if your Timeline is mostly filled with complaints, derogatory remarks and hate posts against an individual or other people (including troll comments!), your possible employers might get turned off and not grant you that interview.
Don’t Complain About Your Current Job
Try not to talk about your current job while you’re seeking employment elsewhere. Or if it’s unavoidable, do so with extra caution. Whatever you post on social media can be taken against you.
Do Keep A Social Media Presence
We know it sounds contradicting telling you not to deactivate your social media accounts when you have to hide your less-than-appealing photos and posts, but ironically, you’ll regret deactivating your account while job hunting. Every single opportunity is available in social media: you can easily find jobs online and all it takes is for you to Like and Follow prospective employers and their respective brand pages.
Join Facebook groups or create an online network of friends on Twitter that also share the same interests as you. Having a social media presence is especially important if you want to know more about the industry you are eyeing. Stay active but do so responsibly.
And most importantly…
While it’s encouraged to put a little more thought about what you reveal and how you behave on social media, it’s still completely okay to be yourself on your accounts. Recruiters are trained to weed out sketchy candidates so your social media presence should still reflect your personality, your likes and dislikes, and what you strongly believe in. But as with anything in life, it should be done in moderation.