Quick, in what state are your social media accounts? An incredible 65% of potential employers will search your social media pages to determine if you’d be a good fit for their company. Just one questionable post could cost you a potential job with any of them.
Are your social media accounts ready to make a great impression on your potential employers? Take a look at your accounts as you take our 15 question quiz. Only a score of 100% correct answers is passing. Where do you fall?
- Are you familiar with privacy settings on all of your accounts?
Yes: Good for you! Move forward.
No: Get cozy with each platform’s FAQ page. Find out who can see what. Moving forward, make judgments based on this.
- Do you have a provocative profile picture on your accounts?
No: Awesome! You might want to double check other posted pictures of yourself to be safe.
Yes: Change it. You don’t have to wear a business suit, but aim to find another creative way to showcase your personality.
- Do you have an account on LinkedIn?
Yes:Fantastic! Keep moving forward.
No: Boo! You should start your free account right away. Ninety-one percent of employers use LinkedIn to search for potential candidates. Take time to set up a strong profile. LinkedIn is also a great place to network with other professionals in your field and find job leads. (Another bonus: once you’re a member, you’ll finally stop receiving all those annoying invitations to join LinkedIn.)
- Do you refer to yourself in your social media profiles as “unemployed” or “job seeker”?
No: Good job! Next question.
Yes: Er, change it now. Rather than potentially coming off as a desperate job hunter, you’d do better to sell yourself as a skilled professional. For example: instead of being an “unemployed MBA graduate” you could say you’re a “master’s-level business professional.” Emphasize what’s accurate and appealing.
- Is the work section updated to align with your resume?
Yes: Great! It’s always a smart idea to update this as often as necessary. Keep it up!
No: Update your work sections ASAP. It won’t take long, and it can help prospective employers remember your past accomplishments as they peek at your social media accounts.
- Do you limit your social media presence to one site only?
No:Fantastic! The more sites you belong to, the more potential you’ll have to expand your professional network.
Yes: Not good. It’s time to expand your social media presence and join other sites. You never know where you’ll meet a great professional connection. Twitter is a wonderful site for word-centric industries such as screenwriting and copywriting. Instagram and Pinterest are well suited for visual careers, like design and architecture. And many industries, such as marketing and sales, are often drawn to candidates with a strong social media presence and influence.
- Do you post to your social media accounts regularly?
Yes: Way to go! Bonus points if you share professional blogs and think pieces you’ve written yourself.
No: Oh? Time to change that. Posting is an easy opportunity to demonstrate your interests and intelligence. Since employers now recognize the value of cultural fit in the workplace, know that even silly posts showing you to be sociable and personable can help.
- Do you know how to limit who can see your Facebook posts?
Yes: Great! Remember, privacy control settings and policies can change at any time. Stay updated on these settings.
No: Oh dear … you may have countless public posts. You can adjust this by editing the privacy setting of each post to share with your “friends” only or with even smaller “groups” of specific people. Remember that the best way to make sure your wild posts don’t see the light of day is to go back to your start on the website and delete as many posts as you see fit.
- Do you think SnapChat is a safer choice for your social media posts?
No:Brilliant! Don’t forget this.
Yes: Though SnapChat is a bit safer than other social media sites, don’t forget that there are ways to save images and videos. Exercise some caution in your Snaps.
- Do you follow bigshots in your industry?
No: Look into following so that you stay in the loop. The information you extract can be beneficial when you go on interviews and interact with prospective employers.
- Do you worry about liking or commenting on other people’s controversial posts?
Yes: Good. You should.
No: It’s much easier to find your “likes” than you’d think — especially if the pages in question are not private. Remember, you can always congratulate a friend on a controversial post by doing this super old-fashioned thing called sending a text.
- Do you have a favorite outside site to check your social media accounts for potential red flags?
No: Most people don’t even know these kind of monitoring websites exist. University of Cambridge recently released a tool called Apply Magic Sauce that can give you insight into how you are perceived online.
- Do you think it might be better to just close all your social media accounts and save yourself a lot of trouble?
Yes: Wrong! Although it may seem like the safer choice, not having any social media presence can work against you during your job search. It can make you seem out of touch with today’s world.
Well, how did you score? Remember that even one wrong answer means you must fix something. Keeping your social media accounts employer ready is an important factor in today’s job search environment. No matter how you scored on our test, it’s always good to stay up to date on the privacy settings of your various social media sites, and even better to keep your photos, videos, and comments in the “safe for work” category. For more information about the post-college job search, download MyPerfectResume’s eBook and keep it handy through every step of the process.