The number of online articles about personal social media accounts and the research your potential employers are likely doing continues to grow. It seems inevitable that a potential employer is going to attempt to gather information about what you are NOT telling them, so what kind of impression are you making with your online profiles or tweets?
True or false?
You are generally safe with venting via Twitter because less than half of your followers actually read your tweets, and the chances that your hashtags will go viral are slim. FALSE – at least the first part. If you doubt this, ask the high school senior who attended a campus information day in Brunswick, Maine and proceeded to post negative or derogatory comments about others while she was there (see They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They saw Your Tweets. – NY Times). Remember that employers can keep track of their social media mentions.
Your profile picture can mean more to an employer than the work-related skills or experience you hoped they would read. TRUE. A good profile picture can reveal professionalism, confidence, and personal characteristics that lead employers to think, “That is someone I would like to work with!” A bad profile picture, however, can reveal personal qualities, skills, or experiences that they do not need or want to know about. See 8 Profile Picture Rules Every Professional Should Follow – The Business Insider.
Establishing a LinkedIn profile automatically makes you a professional. False. It may be the largest social networking site for professionals and creating a profile can be good, but it’s equally important to maintain it. In addition to maintaining a professional profile photo, keep your Linkedin profile information updated. Make certain there are no typos or grammatical errors. You should pay attention to the same details you have (or should) with your resume; in fact, the information on your profile should be consistent with what is on your resume. Manage your endorsements and get rid of those that do not provide an accurate depiction of your skills and abilities.
The fact that employers can and will look at your personal social media profiles may sound creepy. However, as we embrace the advantages of modern technology, we must also be prepared to navigate the issues that can be disadvantageous. If you have not already, employer-proof your privacy settings, pictures, and information.