Social Media & the Job Seeker

January 26, 2012 by Careerminds

Jennifer Fry
Careerminds Consultant


You, the professional in career transition, have been told time and again to a) create a social networking profile or two, and b) make sure those profiles are fit to be seen by potential employers. Whether you have or have not followed this advice, the question may still remain as to why. Why should my social networking profiles matter in my job search? Because, simply put, employers are looking at them, and not just those that are intended for professional networking (i.e.: LinkedIn), either.
Before you can effectively edit your profile(s) for any potentially harmful content, you should know what employers are looking for, and we are here to tell you just that. Some research shows that anywhere between 45% and 91% of employers use social media to screen job candidates on a variety of both positive and negative criteria, and here is what those employers are looking at.

The Good— yes! Employers are not only looking for incriminating photos of you from that wild weekend in Vegas. They’re looking for all the great things you post, as well.

  • Display of personality and good fit with the company.
  • Profile supports professional qualifications.
  • Profile showed candidate as creative.
  • Candidate had good references posted by others.
  • Profile showed good communication skills.
  • Profile showed candidate as well-rounded.
  • Candidate received awards and accolades.

The Bad (and the Ugly)— now moving on to those incriminating photos and other things that could really damage your chances of being hired.

  • Misrepresented professional qualifications.
  • Posted inappropriate photos.
  • Posted inappropriate comments.
  • Posted negative comments about previous employers.
  • Demonstrated poor communication skills.
  • Posted content about drug-use.
  • Made discriminatory comments.
  • Posted content about alcohol-use.
  • Shared confidential information from a previous employer.

If you have yet to do so, clean up your Twitter feed, revise your new Facebook timeline, put some work into your LinkedIn profile; armed with this information, you have a better idea of what to keep and what to toss. Remember, it’s not only about getting rid of the bad, but also showing off the good, so don’t be afraid to brag a little about professional accomplishments, request a reference from a connection or just show off your sparkling personality.

Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.



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