WRITTEN BY LAUREN CRISWELL
Most of us cannot relate to the time when a glance at a paper resume was all an employer reviewed before deciding whether or not you were going to get an interview. Today, social media allows us to connect, network and promote ourselves in more ways than one. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are great tools for businesses to get a glimpse of who you are outside of your resume. However, an unprofessional online identity can also be the very thing standing between you, and landing your dream job. A recent survey confirms 70 percent of U.S. business managers say they decided not to hire a job candidate based upon something found out about him or her online (cnn.com). So what type of things do recruiters and business managers not like seeing on potential employees social media sites? Let me share.
- Illegal Drug Use – 83%
- Sexual Posts- 46%
- Profanity- 63%
- Spelling/Grammar Errors- 66%
- Alcohol Consumption- 44%
- Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.- 29%
- Political Posts- 17%
Now is the perfect time to stop what you are doing and check out your personal social media sites for some of the items above, and use the following suggestions below to improve. (Eric T. Tung, slideshare.com)
- Update your settings to private
- Un-tag or secure your photos
- Eliminate any drama
- Evaluate the ‘groups’ you are a part of
- Ask friends to remove content
- Update your work and education information
Great! Now that you have finished cleaning up your social media sites, the final step is to view your newly updated sites in “public” mode so you can confirm you are presenting yourself as the awesome professional you are.
We’ve discussed how social media can negatively affect a young professionals and students but they are not the only group that is affected by an unprofessional online identity; businesses run into similar issues as well. Just as a business manager reviews a potential employees social media sites for red flags, potential customers do the same for businesses they are interested in visiting or working with.
Social media has changed the way companies do business and advertise online. While many of these changes have opened doors, allowing businesses to connect with customers and grow their business, that door swings both ways and can leave your business vulnerable to criticism and negative comments, especially if improperly used. The same social media networks that serve as a powerful tool to spread good customer service reviews can also serve to make negative information you don’t want to reach your customers go viral, leading to a series of negative consequences for a business.
Knowing how social media can negatively affect your business is important to consider before deciding to take your business onto social media. Here are a few more things to consider (socialmediatoday.com).
- Who: Who is your target?
- What: What are you trying to achieve?
- Why: Why should your business be on social media?
- When: When is the appropriate time for your business to join social media?
- How: How are you going to get there?
Facebook can be a great marketing tool, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Explore your other options and see what other sites may work well for your business in addition to Facebook. If you are looking at possibly managing multiple social media profiles, take a look at our post Tips and Tools to Lighten the Load of Social Media for tips on ways to make your social media management easy and effective.
- Survey: Hiring Managers Doing More Candidate Trolling On Social Media – Talent Management and HR
- 35 Percent of Employers Less Likely to Interview Applicants They Can’t Find Online, According to Annual CareerBuilder Social Media Recruitment Survey
- JobVite Recruiting Survey 2014
- Tips & Tools to Lighten the Load of Social Media
- Join the Conversation: Engage Customers Online