3 social media red flags recruiters notice
In our latest podcast, Monster’s Liz Torres responds to feedback we got on a story about how social media can stand in the way of your next job.
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Even Pinterest. Like it or not, recruiters and hiring managers are checking out your social media profiles, so rather than burying your head in the sand and wishing it wasn’t so, why not take some pro-active steps to make sure you’re putting your best professional self forward?
We recently ran a story titled, “These social media mistakes can actually disqualify you from a job” and our readers had a lot to say about it, so we wanted to follow up and remind you what you can do to look professional and polished in the digital medium. Listen to our conversation with Monster editor Liz Torres in the latest Jobsessed podcast. Or, you can also check out highlights from our conversation below.
Q: When we first ran the story about social media mistakes that can disqualify you from a job, there was a lot of feedback. What was the overall sentiment?
A: I think the overall feeling was frustration, that something that seems so superficial to our readers could actually ruin your chances of getting a job. There was a feeling of, “What about what I bring to the table professionally?”
Q: But are hiring managers and recruiters really looking at your social media when they’re checking you out?
A: Yes, they definitely are. We actually found from a recent study that 84% of employers recruit via social media and nearly half screen job candidates through social networks and Google.
Q: So what’s one of the biggest red flags to recruiters when they’re looking at your social media profiles?
A: If you put on the shoes of the hiring manager, it’s important to understand that what they find online is their first impression of you. If they can’t find you online, it’s not a good sign. It can either look like you have something to hide or nothing to show, both of which aren’t very impressive and may send you to the bottom of the resume pile.
Q: What should you do instead?
A: The key is drawing a line between “professional you” and “personal you”. While it’s fine to keep your personal Twitter name private, I think it’s a good idea to have a searchable Twitter name that depicts “professional you”, what you bring to the table and what you want to showcase—really the best side of you.
Q: So, create another Twitter account for your professional life. You can privatize the one that talks about your political beliefs and your love of cats.
A: The good thing about social media and having a professional social media presence is that you can really pick and choose what you want to show—your best qualities. And that’s really impressive to hiring managers.
Q: The next red flag you mentioned was having fake Twitter followers.
A: Yes, today you can actually buy fake followers to fluff up your social media presence.
Q: Can hiring managers tell if you have fake followers?
A: Yes. It’s really better to have maybe 50 influencers, people who are really engaging in your field, than thousands and thousands of fake followers you bought who aren’t really contributing to your online presence.
Q: The last one is that you’re on social media but you’re not doing anything with it. You’re inactive. Why is that a red flag?
A: Having a social media presence and online brand isn’t a one-time thing. It isn’t a “create a name, put out one or two tweets” and be done with it. They’re really looking to see that you’re engaging, whether it’s current events or news or professional development in your industry. They want to see what you’re pushing out there and how you’re influencing others in your field.
Q: That really will show companies that you’re well-rounded, right?
A: Your resume is a bit one-dimensional. And you only have maybe a 15-minute interview to sell yourself. Often, that’s not enough. But on social media, you have the time to craft what you bring to the table, and to add color and to become more memorable. That’s the main benefit of social media.