As a job seeker, you’re probably already putting countless hours into refining your resume and cover letters, reaching out to your professional network and applying for open and hidden positions. But in today’s digital age, there’s another important component that can dramatically affect your success: your social media profiles.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ — you may have accounts on all the major social media platforms. No matter how many or how few you have accounts on, it’s safe to assume your future employer will be looking at them.
In fact, 52 percent of recruiters always search for social media posts during hiring and 55 percent have reconsidered hires based on social activity, according to a Jobvite infographic on Adweek.com. The article states the top social sites searched by recruiters are LinkedIn at 92 percent, Facebook at 66 percent, and Twitter at 52 percent.
Smart job seekers will take a proactive approach to ensure their social media profiles work for them and not against them. Follow these golden rules of social media for job searching and you’ll be well on your way to hearing the words “You’re hired.”
Rule 1: Cut inappropriate comments and photos
Pictures of raging parties and raunchy remarks to friends might seem like fun, but to a future employer, they are a red flag. Go through your profiles and delete anything that could be misinterpreted or work against you. A good guideline: If your mother wouldn’t approve, take it out. Finally, update your privacy settings on each site.
Rule 2: Delete old accounts
Do you have accounts you no longer use? Perhaps it’s an old profile from a dating site you simply forgot to update. Maybe you have an account on MySpace you haven’t used in years. You may have multiple Facebook accounts and really only need one. Whatever the case, delete all dated accounts now.
Rule 3: Stay current on LinkedIn
Today’s job seeker must have a LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, this is the platform for the working professional. Not having one implies you’re out of touch with technology or lack credibility. The site is also an excellent way to expand your professional network when you post and comment on topics of interest and engage other industry experts in conversation.
Rule 4. Update photos and info on all platforms
Even if profiles are set to private, your designated primary photo will pop up during a search. Make sure it’s a photo that represents you well. A quality photo can work in your benefit, too. In fact, LinkedIn research shows having a picture makes a profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.
Rule 5: Use keyword strategies
Did you know recruiters and HR professionals use keywords to seek out talent on social media sites, particularly LinkedIn? Determine the top words and phrases for your industry and make sure to strategically sprinkle them in throughout your profile.