6 Social Media Habits of Highly Professional People
Employers and recruiters absolutely look into a candidate's social media presence when considering them for jobs (and even once they've been hired!), but here's the good news: it is completely within your control to spin your public professional image in whatever way you'd like.
Rawhide.org compiled an infographic with survey results about how social media affects the job search, and the following are the top six tips gleaned from that info. When it comes to your social media presence, make like Olivia Pope and handle it.
They create professional accounts.
You already know that your LinkedIn profile should be all professionalism, all the time. But people who are serious about defining their personal brand and controlling their online image will create other professional social media accounts in order to portray themselves in the best, most businesslike light. This way, when hiring managers or recruiters go searching for you online, they'll see more of your brilliant accomplishments and professional thoughts and fewer photos of your nephew in a moose costume.
They tightly manage their privacy settings.
If your personal Twitter account is laden with angry political rants or back-and-forth arguments with the JetBlue customer service department, consider making it private. Same goes for your Instagram account, and it's worth taking a quick look at your privacy settings on Facebook, as well. You may not realize how viewable many aspects of your Facebook account actually are.
They keep their social media accounts "clean."
This may seem obvious, but it's apparently not clear to everyone. While your social media accounts should reflect your personality, certain types of posts can harm your professional image. Eighty-three percent of recruiters say references to any illegal drugs are a huge turn-off, while 70 percent claim sexual content is also a no-no. Profanity, discriminatory comments, and bad-mouthing former colleagues or employers are also high on the list of social media sins that can cost you a job.
They keep their LinkedIn profile fresh and always include a great photo.
As you probably know, your LinkedIn profile can make or break your chances of landing a job, and 94 percent of the recruiters surveyed said they check LinkedIn when considering candidates. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed claimed to have actually hired candidates through LinkedIn. So what are they analyzing when they view your profile? They're checking your professional experience and length of professional tenure, mutual connections you share, examples of previous work you've posted, any industry-related posts you've shared, and whether you seem like you'd be a good cultural fit for the workplace.
In particular, they include volunteer or charitable work on LinkedIn.
Including your volunteer work and charity interests can only boost your chances of impressing a recruiter. Sixty-five percent of recruiters have positively reconsidered hiring a potential candidate after seeing that they have volunteered or made donations to charity. It's not the only reason to give back, but it is a nice side benefit.
They're active on the accounts they have.
If you have a professional Twitter account but your last tweet was from May 2011, it's going to raise some questions. A current, active social media presence indicates that you're engaged with current events, up to date with developments in your industry, and proactively connecting with your peers (and possible future colleagues).