Social media plays an important role in today's job market. Job seekers use it to network virtually in hopes of landing a job opportunity, and hiring managers are increasingly using social media to check out their prospective employees. For many job candidates, this fact can make the difference between getting hired and seeing the door.
If you are on the job hunt, follow these guidelines to monitoring your social media presence.
Maintain a Presence
It may be tempting to just delete all your social media profiles or redefine your security settings to “friends only,” but an absence of social media is just as sketchy as a questionable profile. Hiring managers know that nearly everyone has some sort of online presence these days, and the absence of yours may make them think you have something to hide. Instead of deleting your profiles, just focus on cleaning them up and keeping them that way.
Consider the Company You Keep
Social media connects people with their friends, important causes and companies, and these connections are visible to anyone with the ability to see your profile. Keep this in mind before you “like” an organization that is counter to the one you hope to work for, and remember that you may be judged by the company you keep before making any connections. For example, if you want to land a position at a company with a conservative reputation, it may be best to “unlike” the more liberal organizations on your list for the time being.
Curb the Check-Ins
Sure, it is nice to “check in” at your favorite bars, restaurants and clubs to meet up with friends, but think about the type of message it sends to a potential employer. If you are checking in from the bar frequently during the week or posting from the club during the wee hours, they might get the impression that you are a partier who won't recover well by Monday morning.
Don't Air Dirty Laundry
All employees are privy to some level of insider info about their work places, but it has no place in social media. Resist the urge to air dirty laundry about your former position, boss or company in a tweet, status update or any other post. Your potential employer will assume you will spill secrets at your new job, and that is a risk they won't be willing to take.