Today it is perfectly acceptable that everybody has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn profile; however, it is worth selecting thoughtfully what we post on these profiles, as HR persons have a tendency to look up extra information on potential employees.
The first impression
We’d better accept the fact that the majority of HR specialists routinely searches through job applicants’ social media activity such as Facebook profiles, Instagram photos, tweets etc. Therefore, it is important what kind of image we create about ourselves. Let’s see what we should pay attention to.
One should be cautious about posting photos taken on party nights; the best idea is not to post them at all, or at least to restrict access to them by strangers. If we allow only our friends to view these photos, we can save ourselves from lots of problems and negative prejudice.
It may become inconvenient if your social media profile and the impression you are trying to create about yourself in a resume contradict each other, especially if you would like to find a job in a more formal environment. Also, comments you posted online can tell a lot about you both with their style and their content.
One of the most important things is to avoid posting any negative comments about a former job you had. Employers don’t take kindly to employees sharing confidential information, thus jeopardizing the reputation of the company and its associates.
Even though our hobbies are usually separate of our job, it is still worth to avoid joining clubs that may create a negative image about us. On the other hand, if we follow places or hobbies that are well known in our profession, we may look more genuine.
The professional aspect
Nowadays, social websites are not only about discovering old friends and making new ones. In fact, many business partners and job searchers have found employment on the pages of social media. Sharing open positions, posting public notes and interesting facts, and especially following respected professionals in our field will demonstrate that we are motivated and ambitious, and it won’t cost us a penny.
The bottom line
The simplest way to create a positive impression is if you use custom settings in your profiles, and you protect your personal data. This way, you let the HR person know that you follow the trends, but at the same time you are aware of the negative aspects of social media as well. If necessary, you can create several small groups to make sure only the appropriate information will be communicated to each group.