by Jean Dobey, founder and CEO of Hibe
In the social media age, candidates are being judged on much more than just their resume and references. With recruiters increasingly scrutinizing applicants’ online personas, those on the job hunt must learn to evolve their personal social media presence.
We behind Hibe, a new personal publishing social platform, have compiled the following list of seven tips to help someone make their social networking appearance more attractive to potential employers:
1. Google yourself.
Entering your name into a search engine can be an eye-opening experience. The information found on Google may only be a snapshot of what you’re actually like, but it could be all a recruiter needs to cross you off their list. Portraying yourself in the best light is a must, particular as, according to a CareerBuilder survey, 48% of hiring managers use Google or other search engines to research candidates. Taking the time to see what information is out there, what’s missing and what needs to be removed is a good starting point when it comes to repackaging your social media presence. Be careful not to overlook abandoned or inactive social media profiles. Forgotten accounts on platforms such as MySpace or Hi5 may contain embarrassing or potentially harmful content.
2. Brush up on privacy settings.
Take the time to get to know the ins and outs of the privacy settings for each of your social profiles. Understanding who can see what is a vital part of controlling your social media presence, but you should stay up to date with revisions to privacy policies. These settings can change frequently and are by no means infallible, so it’s important to exercise good judgment when posting on social media.
3. Stay active.
A good profile is an active profile. By engaging on social media you can connect with industry peers and demonstrate your level of expertise. Posting regularly and contributing to relevant discussions can help you gain credibility and visibility and will go a long way to impressing potential employers. Conversely, remaining inactive, blocking your posts or staying away from social media altogether can give recruiters the impression that you might have something to hide.
4. Make the right connections.
There’s no better way of being in the know then by connecting with the right industry players. Social media is an excellent way of networking and staying abreast of developments in your area of expertise. Start by following the profiles of the companies where you’d like to work. It’s important to also join LinkedIn Groups related to your industry. In addition to being an excellent way of collecting quality contacts, they can help you find openings as companies may share job opportunities in relevant groups.
5. Check the quality of your content.
It may seem obvious, but ensuring the quality of the content you share is of the utmost importance. The 2013 Social Recruiting Survey by Jobvite found that 93% of recruiters review candidates’ social profiles in the hiring process, while 42% have reconsidered an applicant based on content from such profiles. It goes without saying that inappropriate photos and posts can be deal-breakers for potential employers, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the language and grammar you use on social media can also affect your chances of getting hired.
6. Experiment with new platforms.
While it’s important to maintain active profiles on traditional social media platforms – such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – it also pays to embrace new networks. This can help a job seeker increase their professional network and expose their content and expertise to a larger audience. Your willingness to join new social networks can also send recruiters some positive signals. It shows that you’re a fast learner, that you adapt to change easily and are constantly looking to improve professionally.
7. Create, Share, Promote.
Enriching your presence on social media with content related to your area of expertise can help to attract the attention of recruiters. Creating and sharing insightful, relevant information through your social media profiles will showcase your know-how and increase your credibility. Promoting your work in LinkedIn Groups and through online communities will also clearly demonstrate your competence to potential future employers. Whether you’re showcasing your content or just getting your name out there, it’s important to make it easy for recruiters to find you online. Creating a personal website or using sites such as about.me can allow you to link all your social media profiles and improve your search engine rankings.
With more and more recruiters placing a greater emphasis on social recruiting, candidates must take these necessary steps to ensure they don’t sell themselves short on social media.
Jean Dobey is the Founder and CEO of Hibe, a company that develops personal networking and social engagement technologies. An entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience building e-commerce and social media companies, Dobey is committed to enabling people and organizations to communicate and engage online in a way that reflects their different personas and needs. As the driving force behind Hibe, he strives to empower people to interact and build relationships on their own terms.