Is the time you spend on social media sites just for fun, business or a little bit of both?
For the young person looking to find that first really good job out of college, one of the bigger challenges is not having much of a record to fall back on.
Unlike someone who can tout their experience when it comes to moving up the career ladder, younger employees have to oftentimes do a better job of selling themselves, both in the initial resume and application process, and then again if and when they get an interview.
Not only do younger individuals need to highlight their experience, but they have to review their social media footsteps, looking for anything that could cost them getting an interview.
According to a 2011 study from social media monitoring service Reppler, in tandem with Lab42 and using a random sample of 300 individuals involved in the hiring process of a business, 91% of the employers polled use social networking sites to screen prospective employees.
The study noted:
- 69% of employers claim to have turned away an applicant due to something they viewed on one of the major social media venues
- 47% of employers look at social networking sites to screen prospective employees right after obtaining their job application
- Facebook is reviewed by 76% of employers, followed by Twitter (53%) and LinkedIn (48%)
- Lastly, 68% of employers have hired a candidate due to something they saw about them on a social networking site
Despite having those odds against them in many cases, younger individuals can put social media to use for them early and often, leading to better odds of getting that job they truly want.
As social media continues to grow, younger people can use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to highlight how they can help an employer.
Is Your Social Media Image Squeaky Clean?
So, how can one get started in making sure their social media image is where it should be when the job of finding a job begins?
Among the things to focus on:
This is the top site for young professionals who want to show off their skills. Given the fact that the younger worker does not have much professional experience (except in cases where they may have been working while going to school, doing an internship etc.), it is important to highlight what there is.
If you did an internship in a field that you are looking for full-time work in, by all means highlight it. Include your responsibilities, what programs (computer skills) you used, any testimonials from the employer or significant co-workers, and what you learned from the position.
Do not go too heavy on any awards etc. unless they directly relate to your desired field of work. It is also a good idea to have someone other than a friend or family member review your profile to look for any errors and misleading statements that could be brought up during an interview
Just about everyone knows this is the king of kings in the social media world, but a sizable portion of people do not always use it properly. If you have a Facebook profile, make sure you review it, cleaning up any questionable statements or images before applying to companies.
More businesses are taking the time in today’s Internet age to review applicant’s social media pages, meaning your page could very well come under scrutiny. Many employers count a person’s personality and the image they project highly on their list of desirable traits in a potential employee.
Any comments, photos or videos on your page that could be viewed as questionable could be the difference in whether or not you get your foot in the door for an interview. If you are viewed on social media as perhaps a loose cannon, it could end up preventing you from ever getting that interview.
Much like Facebook, Twitter is a go-to page for employers when checking out a prospective applicant. One area that employers could very well look at is who you are following.
In the event you follow sites that are deemed questionable (sexually explicit, racial etc.), an employer may hesitate to bring you in for an interview, fearing you may not be a good fit for the office culture they have created. Also be careful in the items that you link to.
If you are linking to questionable pages, articles etc., your credibility as a good fit for that company’s office could come into question again.
While there are obviously other social media sites that younger people are on, those are the big three that are most often focused upon.
At the end of the day, your best chance at not being viewed by potential employers as being anti-social, is to make sure your social media portfolio does not come across as being seen as a liability.
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