Have you ever considered that it’s not just your friends looking at your social media profiles? 93% of recruiters use social media to vet candidates and – more importantly – 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile.
What’s more, research shows that recruiters make a decision about whether you are a good fit for a job within an average of 6.25 seconds of looking at a CV. If they like your CV, they will look you up on social media – and you will only have a few seconds to make a good first impression.
Find out what people will find when they google you by doing so yourself. Are you mentioned on any websites? Is the feedback positive or negative? Which of your social media profiles come up in the search? If the first thing that comes up is your old MySpace profile, it may be a good time to sort out your privacy settings!
Many of us have pictures online that we wouldn’t necessarily want potential employers to see – but that we don’t want to delete either. A good middle ground is to ensure you have privacy settings in place. This allows you to keep what you want to keep without having to worry about who may find it. Do you use your Facebook profile exclusively for private use? Consider adding your middle name to make yourself less likely to be found. Don’t want recruiters to see your Instagram pictures? Set your account to private.
Twitter provides 160 characters in which to introduce yourself. Use this space to provide a positive first impression. Give people a snapshot of who you are and what you are about. The same goes for LinkedIn. Use the space available in your summary to introduce yourself, highlighting your career successes, passions, and showing how you are a great culture fit for any company.
A picture speaks a thousand words! Make sure your profile picture shows you in a professional light, yet friendly and approachable. Most major social networks also provide the ability to upload a cover image which gives you another way to introduce yourself. If you work within creative, you can use visual focused social networks like Instagram and Pinterest to show off your portfolio.
Once you have nailed the first impression, you want to make sure the rest of your profile is filled in! On LinkedIn, list your work experience and biggest achievements, and ensure you don’t have any typos. On Twitter, make sure you add your location and a link to your website/LinkedIn profile/blog.
Since you never know when a recruiter may be checking out your social profiles, it’s important to keep up your social presence. Post high quality content regularly. Using social media scheduling tools will help you from spending too much time on this. Alternatively, you can follow influencers in your industry and retweet relevant news and trends.