The short answer is yes, your activity can paint a picture that helps you, it also has the power to hurt your search. But let’s delve a little deeper. Most of us are active on social media in some way or another, on some or all platforms – and whether we’re aware of it or not, this activity adds up to create our online personas. The question is, how do you shape up when it comes to comparing your professional and private personas?
As recruiters, we can tell you definitively that we do check out the social media profiles of candidates and applicants, as do employers.
Let’s break it down.
What impresses us about your “social” self?
We’re not looking to catch you out. Your social media presence can work well in your favour by giving us a “feel” for your personality. In fact, seeing your interesting pursuits, activities or hobbies adds flavour to your profile, which is a positive. and A well curated social media profile, that mirrors your CV and career trajectory with background information, qualifications and references will serve you nicely. This applies primarily to LinkedIn but it’s good to keep your Facebook “About” section up to date too. It can help us uncover things like whether a candidate is a good team player, has great communication skills or leadership abilities.
What dissuades us from considering you as a serious contender?
Recruiters and potential employers aren’t likely to be impressed if your photo gallery is made up of you drinking and partying all days of the week and being scantily or inappropriately clad. Keep away from commenting on politics and religion – it opens a can of worms that will stay with you forever. Other no-no’s include posting inappropriate comments and badmouthing previous employers. While we know it is a social media platform where you are free to express yourself, it does give employers a “picture” of who you are.
Then there’s Google.
Google Search is a tool we’ll use too, and this is where a lot of information will appear. If you’ve been mentioned in an online article for either positive or negative reasons, no matter how long ago, it will come up in a search. Once your name is on the web, it’s pretty much out there.