In today’s day and age, social media is a major way job applicants learn more about employers – but it’s a two-way street. Many employers, including our staff at Financial Professionals, screen job seekers by looking at their Facebook profiles. The practice is becoming more common. Based on a survey conducted lasts year, CareerBuilder.com found that 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. Many employers use social media to learn a little bit more about his or her qualifications. Of course, candidates’ resumes, cover letters and interpersonal skills weigh heavily on whether or not employers think a job applicant is the right person for the job — but companies and agencies will review candidates’ digital presence to learn if the person behind the resume presents his or herself in a professional manner online, as well as in real life.
Sometime we find discover things that aren’t always pretty. Those embarrassing photos you posted on Facebook of yourself the other night – we see those. Those cuss words you used to describe your former boss in your last update – we read that, too. The last thing employers want to see if someone’s provocative or inappropriate party photos, chronicling a night of getting drunk and acting like they’re a rock star. Those are not the quality applicants we like present to our employers. When you’re competing against several applicants who all have an equally strong skill set, the content on your Facebook profile could be the thing that sets you apart.
Take a lesson from us and make sure that if you’re searchable online, you’re not sharing too much. Here’s how to keep things professional on Facebook.
Make your profile photo a picture of you
No matter how tight you’ve set your privacy settings, your profile photo is the one thing everybody sees. A photo of your dog or of a cartoon character isn’t the best representation of you.
Think twice before posting offensive status updates
Take a deep breath the next time you think about posting something obscene, obnoxious or even controversial. Employers are looking for people they can respect – so only show your best side by posting things you don’t have to explain later.
Have someone you trust scan your profile for red flags
Sometimes it’s easy to miss those little details that reflect your checkered past. For example, you might’ve thought it was cool to post those photos of you partying when you were in college – but they’re not so funny if you and your friends were drinking underage. Keep anything incriminating off of Facebook, even if it isn’t recent.
Have questions about our recruiting, screening or testing? Feel free to email us today.