Employers are increasing checking out the social media profiles of prospective employees. Questionable content is obviously a concern, but more than 40 percent of employers who were polled said an applicant with no social media activity could also be concerning. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File
We’re living in an increasing connected world, and social media is playing a big part in that.
Anyone’s who has ever monitored Facebook or Twitter with any regularity knows this. The recent spate of brushfires we’ve endured here in Southern California is a case in point. You’ll obviously hear about these blazes on the news and you’ll read about them through a variety of online sources.
But sometimes the best — and most immediate — news comes in the form of a Facebook or Twitter post from a friend or acquaintance who just happens to be caught up in the chaos of a fire that suddenly expands into their area.
It’s amazing how detailed and timely the information can be when it’s coming from someone who is near the front lines and is worried about whether their home is in the path of the fire.
That same kind of immediacy applies to the workplace.
What I mean is this: When you go to apply for a job, the hiring manager and others with the company will obviously take a good look at your resume. If that looks good they’ll also check out your references to verify that you did, in fact, work at the places you listed.
But they’re also going to check out your social media profile. And by that I mean they will plug in your name, residence and other information they have and do a search to see what turns up on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
In most cases, a potential applicant probably has nothing to worry about. But if you’ve posted ultra-extreme views on topics or have put out messages that might be considered racist or inappropriate, that’s not going to help you land a job anytime soon.
Still, social media has become part of the fabric of our lives and employers know this.
A recent survey by outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that while having unprofessional social media can hurt candidates, having no online presence is often concerning to employers as well. When the Challenger survey asked whether or not having no social media hurts a candidate, 43 percent of those surveyed said it did.
Many recruiters reported that having no online presence gave them pause, citing concerns over the tech-savviness of the candidate or their ability to learn new technologies.
“Employers want to hire workers who can adapt to the changing technologies used in business,” said Andrew Challenger, the firm’s vice president. “If they cannot find anything about you online, it could indicate that you are clueless about these emerging technologies or are tentative to learn them.”
I think this is true.
I was a late adopter with all of this, but I have to admit it does offer a level of connection to the world you otherwise wouldn’t have. But there are still pitfalls and Challenger explains it this way:
“Candidates who are less comfortable with recruiters checking in on their social media should make sure that they have checked their privacy settings and that they understand how these settings work,” he said. “On Facebook, for example, profile pictures are always public, even to people who are not connected, which means that it is important that this picture is appropriate.”
So check your social media profile. And look at it with a critical eye — view it the way a potential employer might view it.
That should immediately tell you that you need, or don’t need, to do.
Categories: Social Media
Your social media activity could help, or harm you