For an employer, looking you up on social media is a really easy way to gain information about you that isn’t included on your resume.
Up to 93% of employers will review a candidate’s social media (Source: Workopolis)
If you applied for a job, assume that the employer is looking you up online
Have you ever tried looking yourself up online? Try it out and see what appears. If the results aren’t something you want your grandma to see, it probably isn’t good for an employer to see either. It’s a good idea to set your privacy settings to limit who you want to see your accounts and consider what you are posting.
Things employers may notice:
- If your online communication skills match the communication skills mentioned in your resume
- If you are articulate and friendly or argumentative and use profanity
- If your education and experience (eg. on LinkedIn) match what you’ve listed in your resume
- If you use inappropriate online behaviour
- The types of pictures you’re in (eg. pictures of you partying versus pictures of you doing a hike)
- Bad spelling and grammar
It’s not all bad
Not all information in your digital footprint has a negative effect on getting yourself a job. Your social media activity can have a positive impact too! The content you post gives employers a better idea of your personality that isn’t visible through your resume or even an interview. Do you share interesting and engaging content? Do you have a strong network of followers? What type of image of yourself are you projecting in your digital footprint? Consider these questions if any of your social media accounts are public.
Even if you lock down your privacy settings on your social accounts like Facebook, there are still ways to build up a positive online presence that you will want employers to see. LinkedIn is a great way to re-iterate your resume, Wordpress can be used to build a professional blog, and sites such as Wix, Behance, and Bulb are great place to build an online portfolio to showcase your work. Just remember, if you give an employer weblinks to learn more about you, always have a professional photo (no selfies!) and ensure the content is worth their time. Creating your own professional webpage(s) helps control information that’s public about you and gives an employer something positive to look at whether you give them the link or if they search for you online.
Our advice: Keep your social accounts private and try to be professional at all times. You never know who will be a connection to your next job!