69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of something they have seen on their social media. When recruiting, a face to face interview only does so much in the way of gauging a person’s suitability to the role. Perhaps they know their trade inside out but will they be a good fit within your team? It can be tricky for hirers to gain this level of personality insight, but a simple Google search before or after an interview can yield favourable...and not so favourable results. For example, if you are going for a Social Media position it is inevitable that employers are going to audit your online profile to see how you come across in those channels, after all it’s what you’re pitching to them as your strength.
Audit your own online visibilityRun simple Google searches for your name using inverted commas like “John Evan Smith” AND “Portsmouth”. This narrows the search results to only show web pages that contain that name and city. Audit the first 10 pages of results and check Google Images using the same method. Browse your social profiles using Google Chrome’s Incognito mode so you can see what the public sees. Does your Facebook profile photo portray who you are because that is the image that is publicly visible. If you are about to enter the job market, do an audit of yourself, and do it now!
Top 5 social media turn-offsRecruiters and hiring managers cite these as the top things that put them off about an applicant’s online profile:
- Inappropriate photos - do your best to keep your pictures recruiter friendly and ask your friends not to tag you in anything compromising! See what we said above about doing a Google Image audit of yourself.
- Ranting / moaning - be careful of expressing strong negative opinions on subjective topics - potential employers may see it as antagonistic. Another big no no is complaining about your current job or co-workers. It looks unprofessional and hirers will just assume you might do the same if you worked for them.
- Oversharing - social media is not the right platform for personal issues and arguments. Likewise no-one wants to see a picture of every meal you eat.
- Posting during work time - unless you are applying for a social media job, this will shout “skiver” to potential employers and they are likely to pass you by in the recruitment process.
- Zero online presence - conversely, having no visibility on the web can also hold you back. Most jobs these days require a certain level of tech savviness, and employers will look at your online profile to validate this. Similarly, having a profile but a lack of up-to-date activity can also give a negative impression.