People today have tendencies to live their lives out loud on social media for the world to see. With many social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more to choose from people tend to forget that their profiles are largely public and anyone can see quite revealing.
Before you begin the job search process, it’s a good idea to take a long hard look at your social media presence from the perspective of potential employers. Comb through old posts and look for things that may harm your chances to get the employment opportunity you really want.
What Should You Eliminate?
Some things are par for the course. It’s acceptable to come across as human and have a good time with friends and family on Facebook. However, there are some things that will raise serious red flags with hiring managers if they see them on your posts, tweets, pins, and pictures. They include the following things:
- Excessive personal drama
- Complaints and criticisms of current and former employers
- Hate-filled and/or profane language
- Constant referrals to partying, drinking, and other illicit activities
- Suggestive or provocative photographs and images
The list is far from exhaustive, but makes a good place to begin your profile and post cleanup process.
What do Employers Want to See?
While it is helpful to know what employers will find negative in social media profiles, it’s also wise to consider what they would like to see as well. Employers want to know that you’re a team player, that you respect others, and that you have skills and talents that are relevant in your field.
Share news stories that matter in your industry. Connect with leaders in the industry and join conversations they’re participating in. Create a blog about your industry and link to posts you make. Show employers that not only do you know your stuff, but that you’re also invested in the industry and advancing your knowledge about it.
Social media can be a powerful tool for good or ill in the job search process. Remember this each and every time you log in and think twice before posting.