Polishing Your Social Media Profile for Job SeekersNov 17, 2020
You’ve applied to your dream job, or at least a job that checks a few of your boxes (especially the one that says income). A day or two later, you get a notification that people are looking at your LinkedIn profile. Good thing you got that all taken care of and professional-looking! Then… you start to think about your other social media channels. Do they look at your Facebook? Your Instagram? Suddenly, you’re questioning whether you should have posted that video of yourself in your swimsuit belly-flopping into a pile of IKEA shark plushies. Now, you’re scrambling to clean up your profile. What do recruiters look for and why?
According to Glassdoor, recruiters WILL check several profiles of yours, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. How can you be sure your social media profiles will help launch your career, not stall it? Read on to learn how to create the pristine job seeker social media profile!
In 2019, an employer publicly shamed a job applicant by posting a bikini photo from her Instagram on their own page. No doubt, the company crossed a line—but employers ARE looking. Here’s what they’re looking at.
1. Your followers and who you follow.
- What kind of people does your profile attract? What does that say about what kind of people you’d click with best? Does that line up with the company’s culture and team?
- Are you following any industry experts in your field? If so, potential employers can see that you’re truly passionate about your field, to the point of wanting to see news and updates in your Instagram feed!
2. Your behavior.
- Do you communicate well? Employers are always looking for employees with “excellent verbal and written communication,” and they can scope out some of that on your Instagram.
- Are you polite in the comments? If you just ranted to your cousin about how their homemade pizza was so nauseating that you want to shove it where the sun don’t shine, you probably want to delete that.
3. Your content.
- What you post hints at what kind of person you are, and that helps employers know if you’ll be a good fit for their company culture or not.
- Fun fact: You can archive any iffy posts so they don’t appear on your feed, and then add them back later!
Hopefully, recruiters and employers will be fair and not discriminate unfairly against you for harmless things on your Instagram profile, like if you drink Coke instead of Pepsi (if they’re that discriminatory, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway!).
But consider it from their perspective: knowing the kind of person you are outside of the interview does help them better gauge if you’ll represent them well or not.
Sure, okay, we know Facebook is for old people nowadays, but recruiters will still check if you happen to have it. Here’s what sections to focus on to make your profile recruiter-ready:
1. Your “About” section.
- Consider the person your resume shows you to be, and update your “About” section to reflect that. Does your target company value exuberance? Thoughtfulness? Leadership? Teamwork?
- Make sure it reads well professionally and grammatically—if you last updated in 2013 and it says “5X CINAMIN CHALiNGE CHAMP [email protected][email protected]!!11,” it won’t look good on your part!
- Coming up totally blank? Consider at least posting a favorite inspirational quote.
2. Your photo albums.
- Again, your pictures reveal a little more of the “real you” and whether you’ll fit well with the company.
- Focus on your captions and comments, too. How do they reflect what you see in the situations captured in your photos?
- Looking adventurous and fun is fantastic, but try to avoid anything that makes you look sketchy. If there’s anything you want to keep that you don’t want employers to see, you can set it to “friends only” or “private.”
Of these three profiles, Twitter is the easiest to scroll through quickly and see what’s important to you—and that’s what recruiters want to know on a social media profile for job seekers. Here’s what to focus on to present your best side to recruiters:
1. Who you follow.
- Twitter is the best social media platform for keeping up with experts, brands, and news in your field. Does your follow list show that you’re up to date?
- For example, if you’re applying for marketing positions, do you follow the AMA chapter that is local to you? Do you follow Adweek?
- Just like on Instagram, showing social media involvement in your career field can show employers that you're enthusiastic and genuine!
2. What you say.
- Are your tweets professional and thoughtful? Can your ideas spark conversations? Ask yourself these questions when tweeting at companies in your field.
- But make sure you’re not just being a “Karen” and complaining about everything, either. Be considerate, professional, and engaged—and clean up any angrier tweets you might have sent while in a bad mood.
Bottom line: A social media profile for job seekers knows its targets.
We can’t really cast “one-size-fits-all” magic spells in a guide for a social media profile for job seekers, because you have to research what your target company and career values the most. Once you learn that, you can customize your social media profile accordingly.
If you don’t have some of these social media channels or have them set to private, that’s okay, too! You’re not necessarily out of the running for employment. But social media can help show off how perfect you are for the job you want!
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