If you post a lot of compromising photos or inflammatory material in your social media feed, then you might be passed over for job opportunities.
According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD), two out of every five employers looks at candidates’ Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles before recruiting them. At the same time, a profile that’s too squeaky clean might actually turn off recruiters in certain industries. It’s crucial to know when to sanitize your social media presence and when to leave it as-is.
In early 2014, the Warwick, R.I. police department set a goal of recruiting 800 applicants for its hiring list. To increase outreach, the department set up a Facebook page dedicated to the recruitment effort. Interested applicants could simply “like” the page to receive updates and to obtain application instructions.
Imagine that you’re a candidate who has an MS in Criminal and Social Justice and meets all of the department’s physical fitness requirements. Despite your qualifications, if the recruiting officers click on your Facebook profile, they could see photos that would cause them to question your qualifications.
If you’re tagged in some questionable photos or if you post an iffy status, such as a rant about an employer or a complaint about stress, the Warwick police department might question if you would “demonstrate good judgment, [possess] an even temperament, respect and appreciate diversity, show creativity and problem-solving skills, think on their feet, handle pressure and show leadership skills” when you’re under stress.
The verdict: If you work in a field in which appearances matter, such as public service, or you want to work for a company with a buttoned-down culture, give your social media profile a scrub-down before filling out a job application.
Forbes once reported on a 21-year-old college intern, working at a recruiting firm, who’d been hired to vet candidate social media profiles for her bosses. The intern was ordered to toss candidates who didn’t have wedding photos, baby photos or photos of themselves attending parties with friends on their social profiles. A profile without character, according to the recruiters, suggested that it had been scraped clean to get rid of racy or controversial content. The recruiters also thought that a clean profile without photos indicated that the person didn’t value relationships and might not get along with co-workers. Read the Rest…
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This interview first appeared on OpenColleges. “Most students I talk to are seniors with five people in their LinkedIn network. This is a huge mistake.” 1. What is your number 1 tip for getting a job after finishing study? Don’t wait
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