Let’s be honest we have all done it or at least thought about it…is my company creeping on my social media accounts? Is this recruiter going to look me up on Facebook after this interview?
These are the typical thoughts going through a professional’s mind living in the social media obsessed age. I can only guess that if you’ve had the above thought, you’ve combated it with changing your profile to just or first and middle name, or shortening that last name to just the first three or four letters, because that will hide those photos of you and your friends from the last spring break trip. I mean it’s true, no one is going to want to hire you if you’re seen holding that red solo cup right?
In a 2018 Survey by Career Builder it was sited the 70% of employers use social networking sites to check up on candidates during the hiring process. This survey included 1000+ firms in the private sector. For context Career Builder is a Chicago based human capital solutions company and is an affiliate of Apollo Global Management. While they are not quite the Indeed of job seekers, they have some skin in the game.
If you’re like me then 70% may be a little bit of shocking statistic, but what are these employers really looking into? The survey didn’t explicitly state what falls in the category of “social networking,” as this could simply just be LinkedIn. Having been a recruiter myself I can tell you, yes it’s true I have looked into candidates LinkedIn profiles, but never headed over to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to explore my suspicions. Apparently for some employers it isn’t unheard of dig a little deeper into your data trail of likes and tweets about your first world problems.
Social networking has become a growing norm over the last decade and we have seen the rapid adoption rate increase year over year. Career centers across the country are no longer triple checking that resume for you, but instead pushing you to make sure that LinkedIn is updated. Now more than ever having have the online professional profile buttoned up is just as important as making sure that Facebook default has your shirt fully buttoned up.
As an HR professional I think there are certain boundaries that employer should never cross without valid and just reason. Social media has introduced many new positive changes in the workplace, but has also been the reason for many new company policies. In my opinion an online profile only introduces a new level of biases into the recruiting picture for a company. Opening the Pandora’s Box that is a person’s personal social media doesn’t quite tell the story of who they are professionally. In our current society a human has so many different personas, there is the professional career driven LinkedIn user, the amateur foodie on Insta, the family oriented and fun loving Facebook profile, and the ranting and opinioned Twitter user. Now just imagine this is one person, how many ways can this person come across with a simple scroll through their profile? For some industries and professions, yes a detailed social media deep dive may be needed, but not all. On the flip side of this equation there is this little takeaway about social media “47 percent of hiring managers said the absence of one has actually made them back off interest in a job candidate.” So like most things we were once told were bad for us, everything is good in moderation.
Building a professional brand on the internet has become easier than ever with tools such as LinkedIn. In a matter of minutes you can release your resume to millions of hiring managers, but even professional network can get a little unprofessional. In the past few years I have noticed my Facebook newsfeed and my LinkedIn feed to be somewhat similar. I wasn’t the only user to notice, after I started to see this post trending:
A resent Forbes article offered up some great advice what do post on social media. They called it using the PrOPer meathod:
- Professional on LinkedIn
- Opinionated on Twitter
- Personal on Facebook
This goes to show that we should all be cautious of what we post online, or at least monitor what we are posting as a job seeker. There is a constant debate of whether or not social media is ruining the reputations of young professionals? You are responsible for building your brand on the internet, how others interpret what you put out there is not so much in your control, so think before you post. Social media has provided us with a powerful tool to connect with society and has created interesting and meaningful dialogue, but it has also created new ways that disrupt society. I believe this all goes back to the core of it, you control your identity, online you have to be empowered to be your own editor.
Building your online brand is a full time job all on its own…