If you’re on the lookout for a new role, chances are you’ve wondered whether recruiters check social media or not. Most of us go through a bit of a scare whenever we hear reports of companies firing staff for inappropriate Facebook photos or comments (see examples), and most likely respond in one of the following ways:
Deleting / temporarily deleting all social media profiles
Purging all accounts of information to a bare minimum
Changing privacy / security settings offered by social networks
Using this opportunity to strengthen online presence in a positive way (see below)
But do recruiters actually check the social media profiles of job candidates?
The answer: Yes!
Approximately 60% of employers use social media to look up candidates, and of those who do, half of them report finding information that resulted in them not hiring a candidate.
Most recruiters aren’t specifically looking for damaging evidence of poor character or juicy details about your personal life (although about 21% do), 6 in 10 employers are simply confirming that information you’ve put in your CV is accurate.
(Extra tip: hiring managers in sales and IT are the most likely to check out candidates online)
When you consider the rise of social recruiting (employers using social media to find talent), it’s a bit obvious that employers are likely to be peeking at you online; recruiters may be looking at your social profile before your CV!
Everything that you’ve put online is fair game for someone to come up with an impression of you. Therefore, even if you’ve spent ages tailoring your CV, it’s possible that the blog you wrote in school about how much you hated maths class will find its way to the eyes of a recruiter!
Honing your online personal brand strategy
Now that we’ve established that recruiters are likely to be snooping around your social media profiles, it’s time for you to start honing your online personal brand strategy to ensure you’re presenting your best side.
Your personal brand is all the thoughts, feelings, perceptions, etc. that people have about you. If you’ve submitted a job application and the recruiter or employer hasn’t met you in person, his or her understanding of who you are is limited to your CV, anything they’ve heard via word-of-mouth, and your online presence. If they’re trying to find a best fit for a role, recruiters and employers will gather as much information as they can.
You may think that you can avoid it all by deleting or temporarily deleting your social media accounts, but that may end up doing more harm than good. 4 in 10 employers have reported that they are less likely to interview a candidate if they haven’t found anything about them online, and about 41% have said they research current employees on social media!
This means you’ve got to take control of your online personal brand strategy. This doesn’t mean you need to have a sterile, corporate front, simply a profile that highlights your positive qualities and achievements. Here are a few of our top 3 recommended tips.
Have a professional profile (we recommend LinkedIn) that is up-to-date, professional, and supports what you’ve written on your CV
Make sure what has been posted about you is positive (a quick search online can help with this)
Don’t be afraid to embrace your interests and show what you’re passionate about! Are you an avid photographer hobbyist on Instagram? Link your social media together and let people know!