Social media is one of the best things that has happened to this present generation. It’s an avenue to share your life experiences, your personality, your views and opinions with others. Social media might be one of the best things that has happened to youths of this generation but it has its negative sides.
As a graduate on a job search, professionalism is key, social media has become a tool potential employers use to find out certain details about their candidates.
About 90% of recruiters use online profiles of their candidates to check how they are in real life.
What you put on social media has the power to make or mar your career. Taking a picture of yourself smoking or drinking or even surrounded by lots of bottles presents you as frivolous to a potential employer; that picture has hindered you from getting that job.
On the other hand posting a picture of yourself volunteering for charity or doing something professional presents you as a serious minded individual that is not only passionate but dedicated.
Social media also messes with your mindset. Social media gives off the idea that you need to overtly exaggerate everything just because you want your life to seem perfect. This can be transferred to your job search; you have the tendency to exaggerate what you have put on your CV. You use words like result oriented, amazing team player, out of the box thinker and so on. The thing is every graduate uses these same words so there is nothing unique about you; these words don’t show your unique value.
There is actually no need to use a lot of adjectives when stating your skills and attributes you could just say team player or if you absolutely have to add an adjective it will be in your best interest to highlight specific accomplishments that show how much of a team player you are.
Tip: when writing your CV try to avoid catch phrases common to social media and also avoid exaggeration.
Someone once said “Your first impression in these modern time is not your handshake it’s a google search.
There are strategic ways you can make your social media work for you as you search for a job.
- Clean out your pages
Prior to reading this post, you might have had certain pictures or posts that can spoil your professional career, it is to your benefit to take them down. You can also use the privacy settings associated with your page if you don’t want to delete everything.
- Avoid complaining about your past or present boss online
Social media is an avenue for people to vent their frustrations. If something bad or frustrating happens at work find other avenues to pour out your frustrations, posting it on social media is detrimental to your career. Your potential employer can see this as a slight on behalf of other employees.
- Make sure your professional profiles appear first on search engines
Professional profiles e.g. Linkedin can tell your potential employer lots about you. It is important for your professional profiles to show up first in search engines. One way to find out is to search for your name online and see what pops up.
If your professional profiles don’t show up first you can ensure they do by upgrading them. Put up your accomplishments, added skills.
- To avoid being mistaken for someone else if you have a common name try and attach something to it e.g. instead of David Mark, you can put David Mark Pmp.
- Limit negative content
Be careful what you put online. Even what your friends put online, or tag you in.