According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers check out social media accounts before making hiring decisions. Kaplan Test Prep claims that 35% of school admissions officers looked at applicants’ social media accounts to learn more about them.
We tend to view our social media accounts are personal, so it feels a little intrusive when we find out strangers are creeping on our pages. So what should you do?
- Check your privacy settings. Look to see what others can see. Don’t rely on
privacy settings though.
- Post a nice user pic of yourself.
- Avoid posting publicly anything embarrassing or negative.
- Don’t share pictures of yourself intoxicated. Don’t post about illegal drug use (you might think you’re using a really clever code that no one can crack, but you aren’t. Trust me).
- Avoid drama. Avoid posting publicly about family or relationship drama.
- Don’t complain about your current job. This is how people get fired.
- Don’t post anything racist. This is also how people get fired.
- Share things you want a future employer to see. Loving your internship? Post about it. Read a great article relevant to your field? Share it.
- Keep it clean. Use good punctuation and grammar. Avoid curse words. Use a professional screen name.
- Keep your profile up-to-date. Update your location when you move. Update your school when you enroll.
- Learn from others. According to CareerBuilder, 54% of hiring managers found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate.
- Google yourself and see what comes up. Are there unflattering pictures of you?
Why did employers say that they didn’t offer someone a job based on their social media presence? Those reasons included the candidate:
- Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information – 39%
- Posting information about them drinking or using drugs – 38%
- Making discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion – 32%
- Bad-mouthing their previous company or fellow employee – 30%
- Lying about qualifications – 27%
- Having poor communication skills – 27%
- Posting about criminal behavior – 26%
- Sharing confidential information from previous employers – 23%
- Using an unprofessional screen name – 22%
- Lying about an absence – 17%
- Posting too frequently – 17%