After all, potential employers are already running background checks on you. And Googling you. So why not check in on the good ol’ social media profiles as well?
While employers see this as an awesome opportunity to look even further into the lives of potential candidates, many job seekers feel the exact opposite. Too many job seekers see this as an invasion of privacy and feel that their profiles should be sealed, under lock and key, to prevent unwanted eyes from seeing anything.
In my opinion, I feel that these job seekers are going about this all wrong. Why have a profile that you’re so afraid of showing off? Why go through the trouble of blocking everything or changing your name so that you have absolutely no web presence?
For many industries (including a few surprising ones), having no web presence is just as bad as having an illicit one. Instead of covering everything up, job seekers should see their social media profiles as an opportunity to share part of their lives with prospective employers and networking contacts.
Instead of focusing on what employers don’t want to see on a job seeker’s social media profile, I’ve compiled a list of the four things employers do want to see in a job seeker’s social media profile:
First and foremost, the key to a professional and effective social media profile is to remain consistent. Beyond the fact that you like Facebook or Twitter, it tells whoever visits (ahem, employers) that you are consistent, loyal, and won’t flit around after a short time.
If you are protecting most of your content, make sure you get some content out to the “public” on a regular basis.
If an employer wanted a robot to get just the job done, they’d do that. However, an employer looking to hire you wants to see that you’re well-rounded. Are you only sharing industry-specific content day-in and day-out? Mix it up by showing off your personality, your hobbies and other non-work goodies.
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The robot example still stands. An employer wants to hire someone who is socially adjusted, has friends, and mixes with people well. Don’t be afraid to have proof you have friends on your social media profile.
Last, but not least, understand that employers know you aren’t the picture of perfection all the time (who is?). However, show that you can show restraint by employing privacy settings and untagging inappropriate photos – just not everything.
Check out: Can Job Seekers Be Over-Exposed Online?
What do you think? What other things do you think employers want to see on a job seeker’s profile? Share your thoughts in the comments below!