Social Media and the Job Candidate

Much has been written about the importance of social media.   Social media provides value, convenience, and efficiency for job-seekers and for employers.

Less noticed is the importance of candidate’s managing social media to improve their position, or at least to reduce the risk of social media’s potential hazards to their career advancement.  And there are significant risks inherent in social media.  The wise candidate will exert serious efforts to minimize that risk.

What risk?  Imagine the candidate half way through an interview day and one of the interviewers invites the candidate to review with the interviewer the candidate’s social media identity.  Remember-employers want to know what kind of a person they are considering and social media provides instant insight to that reality.

What do you say and publish about yourself?  How do you speak about your work, your company?  Do you know what others may have posted on your social site?  Are there any photos on your page that might prove embarrassing?  What do others say about you?

Before you interview, review all your social media pages.  Remove any “hidden” content, as that would always be suspect to a reviewer.  Does your content represent your best, most professional image?  Make certain that every detail on that page is something you would not mind your interviewer seeing.

If the interviewer does not check your social media identity, you can be certain that someone in the hiring organization will check you on Facebook or elsewhere.  Ask a colleague or friend to carefully review your social media “stuff” just to make sure it represents the “best you”.  Periodically check to see what others are posting on your pages.  Beware unwelcome “tagged” photos on your site.

Many professionals use social media to boost their image professionally.  I would recommend that you create a profile on LinkedIn and take advantage of the professional networking opportunities there.  Nearly 70% of large firms and recruiters utilize LinkedIn to search for qualified passive candidates, so having a presence on the site is vital to your job hunting success. By Frank