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Ten years ago, people were advising each other to make sure that their social media profiles were appropriate (or private) enough to be safely viewed by potential employers.
Nowadays, things are different. Social media has become one of the main tools for recruiters, so more than simply having acceptable profiles, you should have employable profiles.
You may think that an employable profile is one that is devoid of any fun, humour and, well... personality.
This is not necessarily true. It’s important to bear in mind that employers aren’t looking for robots without character that will follow orders unblinkingly. They want someone they can spend nine hours a day in an office with.
On your everyday social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc...) your travel photos will count in your favour, as will a clear sense of humour, interesting hobbies, statuses in different languages , pictures of you smiling and other people clearly reacting positively around you.
On LinkedIn it is slightly different. Keep it relevant, of a professional (but not robotic) tone and, above all, positive.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality, hobbies and sense of humour but remember there are things that turn employers right off.
There are certain things that employers look for when they manage to locate you in the depths of the internet.
Here are the top five things that they are on the lookout for:
It is understandable to assume that if you are so at risk of losing a job opportunity just because of your social media habits, then it could be better to just not have social media.
If a recruiter or employer is unable to check you out on the internet before offering you a job then it gives them a better idea of what to expect. By checking social media profiles they dramatically reduce the risk of wasting time on a candidate that they don’t want in their company.
If employers can’t find you, they don’t have the opportunity to check that you’re not a racist alcoholic with an unhealthy obsession with knives.
You should at least have LinkedIn. If they can’t find you on LinkedIn then not only do they feel that disappointment in not finding you, but you also come across as someone who isn’t up to date in terms of the professional world...
People don’t realise what a huge role social media plays in the recruitment process. You may have already lost jobs due to what you published online, and you may never know.
Screening a candidate’s social media profiles can be a very effective way to trim down a huge number of applicants in an increasingly competitive world.
By brushing up on your online persona you give yourself a serious advantage over those who were unaware of (or didn’t believe in) the importance of social media.