The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: What Recruiters Look for on Your Social Media Accounts
Social media is a tool heavily used by recruiters to find potential job candidates. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, you never know when an amazing opportunity might find you. So it’s always a good idea to maintain a positive social media presence. In particular, you can include certain features on your social media pages that recruiters look for—plus avoid those they consider red flags.
What to include:
Recruiters are looking beyond just your qualifications—they also want to like you. They want to choose a candidate who has talent and skills, but also a personality that matches with an employer’s corporate culture. They also want to make sure you are who you say you are in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn page.
- They’re looking for consistency. Is the way you describe yourself in your Facebook “About Me” section parallel to how you come across in your paperwork and on LinkedIn?
- Positive energy is important, too. What are you posting about on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Are you upbeat, friendly, professional, passionate, motivated, etc.?
- Are you connected to leaders in your industry? If you’re following the Twitter feed, for example, of someone you can learn from, it shows you care about growing in your field.
- Showcase your brand. The topics you post about, the language you use, the causes you support and the overall theme of your posts all lend themselves to your personal brand and how well you’d fit within a company’s culture.
What to avoid:
You want to paint yourself in the best light. Try to steer clear of the following on social media:
- Negativity. Political or social rants, controversial posts and pictures of the crazy party you went to last weekend have no business on social media. Keep your profiles clean, professional and positive. A good point of reference is this one: if your mom would frown upon a particular post, take it down.
- The wrong LinkedIn contacts. You may be asked to provide references, but connections you have on LinkedIn can easily be contacted randomly for more information about you. Review your LinkedIn connections and do some cleaning if you need to. You want to be sure you’re connected to those who would say something nice if given the opportunity.
- Selfies instead of professional headshots. On LinkedIn, your headshot shouldn’t be a selfie you took of yourself in Las Vegas. If you can’t get a professional picture taken, have a friend take one for you—most smartphones have high-quality cameras and filters that will take a respectable picture.