How Your Social Media Profiles Can Help You Get Hired

You’ve likely heard the story about an employee being fired for posting less than favorable content online (scantily clad photos and trash talking your former boss do not scream, “I’ll be a great employee!”).

What you hear about less is the other side of the story: people who were hired because of their online presence.

A study done in the fall found that 91% of hiring managers screen applicants on social networking sites. Of them, 69% have rejected a candidate based on their findings, while 68% have hired a candidate for the same reason.

Those stats tell us two things you should do before you begin your job search: 1) Remove inappropriate content from your social profiles, and 2) showcase flattering content.

Here are some tips for putting your best foot forward on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook

Don’t hide yourself from Facebook’s search results and call it a day. There may still be ways to find you, and this is a missed opportunity to demonstrate how your talents, experiences, and personality are a great fit for the workplace.

  • Profile Picture: Hiring managers understand that Facebook is a social network, so it’s not necessary to have a professional head shot for your profile picture (I would find that quite odd, actually). At the same time, there are better ways to show your great personality than with sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
  • Other Photos:Remove anything that may be suggestive or offensive, whether it’s of you or anyone else (you don’t want to be guilty by association). If you have photos that make you an attractive candidate (i.e. attending a reputable conference, volunteering, etc.), make them public.
  • Custom URL: Use common sense. Enough said.
  • Education/Work Info: Keep these sections public, updated, and consistent with your resume.
  • Likes/Subscriptions: Be tasteful with your personal interests and be strategic with your professional ones. “Like” the companies that you’re interested in and subscribe to the public feeds of their high-profile employees. When they post something interesting, make an informed and insightful comment.

 

Twitter

If you use it the right way, Twitter is a great platform to engage with and impress prospective employers. By following companies and people of interest, you can also learn what’s important to them and use it to your advantage when you apply.

  • Username: If your Twitter handle is inappropriate or a little too cutesy (iLuvFluffyKittens), change it.
  • Photo: You pretty much have free reign with your Twitter picture (many users have a graphic rather than a personal photo), so pick something fun and tasteful.
  • Bio: Public to everyone, your 160-character Twitter bio should not be left blank or say anything that might alienate someone (avoid controversial topics like politics and religion). Consider this your personal elevator pitch — you have two to three sentences to market yourself.
  • Tweets: Like the bio, don’t tweet about touchy subjects. Do tweet about things relevant to your industry and respond to tweets by the companies you’re interested in. You can also tweet them questions or links you think they’ll find interesting.

 

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Written by

Rachel Dotson is a former digital marketing manager and former blog contributor at ZipRecruiter. She is based in Venice, California.

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