A recent study revealed potentially good or bad news regarding an applicant’s social media activity and the potential employer’s decision-making process. Whether the research is positive or negative for a job candidate all depends on the manner in which they have conducted themselves online.
CareerBuilder reported that an online presence can work in a person’s favor when several things stand out about their postings, including a few highlighted below:
Maintaining a Level of Professionalism
A tone on social media that closely aligned with the corporate culture was top of the list for reasons to hire someone after researching a candidate online. This is interesting, especially since tone can be somewhat ambiguous to define. However, we can perceive another person’s character based on their online voice. Their posts can tell us if they are optimistic or frustrated, forgiving or disgruntled, adventurous or often bored. What kind of picture are you painting about yourself through your comments and updates, rants, likes and shares?
Displaying Strong Communication Skills
The ability to convey a message in a compelling way indicates an aptitude for being articulate. When a person is a powerful and engaged communicator, they will likely shine. Do you put thought into your words before sending them out into the world wide web? Are you level-headed and discerning about what you share with your hundreds (or thousands) of Facebook friends or followers? In the age of screenshots, the “delete” button is not sufficient in managing your reputation. Ideally, your online activity should coincide with your career goals and values.
Background Information That Closely Aligns With Professional Qualifications
This falls under the umbrella of integrity. You want your LinkedIn page and resume to sync. Great references and glowing endorsements play a significant role as well. What does your employment history say about your career development? In just a matter of minutes, an HR manager can quickly assess the type of employee you would potentially be based on what they read.
Interacting With the Company’s Brand
Engaging with the company on social media indicates a genuine interest in what they have to offer. Following their social media accounts also provides a competitive edge in the interview process. You have “real-time” information on company happenings and initiatives. Depending on how they manage their various pages, you may also get to know the voices of various employees, especially when a number of staff members author articles on the company blog.
According to the CareerBuilder study, the list included the following reasons to “pass” on a potential hire:
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
- Posting information about them drinking or using drugs
- Bad-mouthing their previous company or fellow employee
- Poor communication skills
- Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
- Lying about qualifications
How you spend your time online plays an important part in future job opportunities. Use your platform to highlight yourself as a viable and valuable team member.