Spring clean your social media - Life skills
We all know that first impressions count when it comes to finding a job.
It’s well recognized that when attending an interview, we need to dress smartly and present ourselves in a polite and professional way in order to create a great first impression to potential employers. However, what many people may not fully realise is that the real first impression you give these days is through your social media accounts!
According to a Careerbuilder.com survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen applicants before selection.
Therefore, if you are job-seeking, it’s a really good idea to have a look at all your social media accounts to ensure they are showing you in your best light.
1. The easiest and quickest thing you can do first of all is to change your security settings. Set these to private where possible.
2. Remove or un-tag yourself from any photos that may be offensive, distasteful or unprofessional. We all have a life outside of work, but it is best not to post too many photos of yourself out on the town!
3. Don’t use social media to vent frustrations about work, previous employers/colleagues or to moan generally about having to go to work. Think about the impression you might give to potential employers, for example they may think you are difficult to work with or lazy
4. Try not to get involved in anything too controversial or provocative. If you are constantly being drawn into Twitter spats or often share or retweet controversial pictures or statuses, then employers might feel that you are a trouble-maker, or that your views do not fit in with their establishment
5. Honesty is probably the most important attribute that employers look for. They may use social media to check that the background information you provided is true and that you haven’t lied about previous qualifications or your work history. Ensure that everything you’ve told employers matches up with what you’ve posted on your accounts.
It’s not all bad news though - you can use social media to your advantage in your job search. If used wisely your Twitter and Facebook profiles will reflect your personality in a positive way and show that you are a fun but professional person with a wide range of friends and interests. Following companies and brands that reflect your interests both personally and professionally will not only keep you up to date with what’s going on in the industry you want to work in, but will also demonstrate your genuine interest and initiative to potential employers. Lastly, remember that just deleting your social media accounts will not help – employers are also suspicious of those with no online presence at all!