You might remember from some of my earlier posts that I’m a big fan of utilizing the power of social media to secure a good job position. What I’ve mentioned is the importance of a powerful LinkedIn summary, some tips on presenting your professional skills and educational background and how to maintain your profile like a true pro.
However, I seem to have forgotten another crucial topic when it comes to social media and career realization: the appropriate “face” of your social media presence.
The WHAT face, you might ask, and I agree that at first this seems like an odd thing to say. Social media, after all, is our way of communicating, venting and sharing anything that is of interest to us in a totally free manner. So why should anyone worry about appropriate-ness?
A proper social media profile is on any modern recruiter’s radar
Well, fetching a cool job position after a successful interview is a good reason. As I’ve said before, more than 9 out of 10 recruiters are looking through social media profiles – especially ones in LinkedIn and Facebook. What your prospective employer’s Human resources department sees is correlated to the chance of you being invited to an interview.
If you’ve got a proper profile, you’re okay. But if there are controversial bits that make you seem like a…weird person and possibly not a good employee, then it’s over for you.
The problem is that social media gave us a sense of oversharing – we now put almost all of our details on the Web, sometimes without even thinking about it twice. Drunken parties, half-naked (or even fully naked!) selfies or group photos, offensive language…all these are a part of the social media presence of many, many people across the world. Who knows, you might also be one of them.
But do all of these really fall in place in the context of social media? Is their public availability really of great help (or need) to you?
I highly doubt that. And even if it is for some reason, do yourself a favor and polish up your social media presence before you head out for that job interview. I know it might sound strange to you, but it can really weigh in when it comes to your prospective employer choosing the right fit for his/her company.
How to polish your social media presence on different social networks
Okay, but how do you go about it? Is there something specific in making yourself see as a more responsible, disciplined and viable person in the eyes of the recruiter roaming the Internet waters?
Luckily, all types of social media give you the freedom to define your post and image privacy. If you have content you wish to delete or hide, you can easily do so. Here are some ways to do it across different social media platforms.
In Facebook, you can:
– Change the visibility of your posts one by one
– Navigate to your profile’s Privacy Settings, then click on Limit Past Post Visibility and hide numerous posts with only one
– Delete your more inappropriate or controversial posts altogether. The most radical act, I know, but sometimes it needs to be
Twitter is more straightforward. Here you can make your whole profile private. In doing so, you will disable the option for other users to retweet any content you have posted. At the same time, though, others will be able to respond to you publicly, so be alert of your discussions nevertheless.
Image-based social media Instagram is one prone to recruiters’ checks too. You can navigate to Edit Your Profile (located next to the profile picture you’ve set up for your profile) and then click the Posts Are Private setting. Now people will need to send you a request for following you before they have an access to any of your images or even your list of existing followers.
You can also let only approved followers see your content which gives you total freedom over who sees what when it’s about your own Instagram social presence.
I think I shouldn’t explain anything on LinkedIn, as in its nature, it is a social network for business purposes only. It would be stupid to do anything else there, instead of maintaining a healthily professional image and posting content related to your industry and professional interests.
As you can see, it’s not really hard to go full privacy mode on and it will really pay off in the end. Believe it or not, a proper social media presence is a dealbreaker for many recruiters. Just play their game for a bit and follow some basic behaviour guidelines. It’s not hard, it’s not stressful in any way and it will benefit you greatly.