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Managing Your Social Media Presence

Establishing a strong online presence, understanding how to use social media effectively in job search, and avoiding the social media pitfalls that can hurt your chances are important components of any job search. Employers use social media to recruit potential employees and to research candidates, usually before scheduling interviews. A poor or questionable online presence can have employers disqualifying your candidacy during pre-screening. Although an older news story, this video briefly shares how employers are using social media to research candidates, and what might get you disqualified.

A study by Workopolis revealed the following facts about how employers make decisions based on viewing candidates’ social media profiles.

Reasons They Don't Hire:

  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Profanities, racist, or sexist comments
  • Suggestive/provocative photos
  • Negative comments about previous employers

Reasons They Do Hire:

  • Community and charitable work
  • Athletic accomplishments
  • Appearing kind and compassionate
  • Professional image

According to a website called Top Resume, 54% of employers reject candidates based on their social media profiles, so it is important to be intentional about how you present yourself.

There are a huge number of social media platforms, with more appearing on a regular basis. Some are geared more for personal use, others for business, with still others focusing on specific industries. For job search and career management activities, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter remain the most popular. For more information on these, check out the article Best Social Media Sites for Job Searching.

People are welcome to engage in social media in whatever way works for them and should not feel like they cannot share something online. Within a job search, the crucial piece is understanding how an employer might view a post, or photos, and how privacy settings can be used to ensure certain people only see the content you post.