It’s no secret that social media is a vast channel for candidates of today. There are approximately four billion social media users globally. An estimated 90 percent show regular online activity, making social media a great tool for recruiters and hiring managers to gather information about candidates.
Far too often, we see candidates make mistakes on their profiles that end up hurting their chances of employment, so we decided to put together a list of mistakes you should avoid if you want to increase your chances of getting hired.
Take this time to reflect on what you have posted online to understand what mistakes you may have made with your social media accounts. While the tips presented here may not guarantee a 100 percent identity cleanup, they will at least help you build awareness of what you can do to be the ideal candidate.
The Significance of Social Media Checks in the Hiring Process
Recruiters and employers need to check social media before hiring a candidate because it helps them know how the candidate will fit into their business and culture. Social media profiles do not always represent what you find or experience in an interview with a candidate. Some people manage their social media profiles well, and others don’t, so recruiters and employers need to consider the following:
- Does the candidate use multiple profiles? If so, which are professional and which are personal?
- What does the candidate’s profile picture look like? Is it someone who has been smiling for their entire career, or does it appear staged?
- Has the candidate ever posted anything inappropriate on social media? For example, have they made derogatory comments about other companies or individuals? If so, how did they handle this situation?
These questions can help employers make better decisions when deciding whether to hire candidates based on their online presence alone.
What Candidates Should Know About Social Media Checks
As a candidate, you need to know the ups and downs of social media checks to ensure you can stay on top of things. By understanding what a social media check entails, candidates can take steps to ensure that their online presence is consistent with the image they want to present to potential employers.
For starters, employers are allowed to conduct social media checks on job candidates as long as they comply with applicable laws such as equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and data protection regulations.
Some countries and states have specific laws that regulate employers’ use of social media for hiring purposes. In the United States, some states have laws that prohibit employers from asking for social media profiles and other private online information. Therefore, it is essential for candidates to be familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to them.
Employers use these checks to gather information about a candidate’s professional and personal life to assess their suitability for the role they are applying for. It is crucial for a candidate to be aware that their social media presence can be used as a measure of their character and professionalism. Candidates should be mindful of the content they post on social media, including their language, behavior, and associations.
Another important note for candidates is that your privacy settings may not protect you from being viewed by potential employers and that posts from years ago may still be visible. In addition, candidates should be prepared to be asked to provide login information for their social media accounts during the hiring process.
Now that you understand what social media checks are and why they are being done, here are social media mistakes that job candidates make that can risk their employment.
Social media mistakes candidates make
1. Posting offensive or discriminatory content
Job candidates should be mindful of their content on social media, as racist, sexist, or other discriminatory comments are unacceptable by employers.
2. Posting about illegal activities
Candidates should be careful not to post about unlawful activities, as this can be viewed as a red flag by employers.
3. Posting controversial opinions
Posting controversial opinions on sensitive topics such as politics, religion, or social issues can be viewed as unprofessional and might be seen as not aligning with the company’s culture.
4. Posting unprofessional images or videos
Videos or pictures of a candidate drinking or partying excessively can give the impression that they are not serious about their career or are not a good fit for the company’s culture.
5. Negative comments about current or previous employers
Candidates should be careful about posting negative comments about their current or previous employers, as this can be viewed as unprofessional and could hurt their chances of getting hired.
6. Privacy Settings
Job candidates should also be aware of their privacy settings and ensure that their personal profiles are set to private or limit the information that is visible to the public.
It’s important to remember that social media is a public platform, and anything posted on there can be viewed by anyone, including future employers.
With this in mind, here are a few ways to fix social media mistakes before they affect your chances of getting hired:
1. Remove or take responsibility for offensive content
If a candidate has posted offensive or discriminatory content, they should remove it as soon as possible and take responsibility for it. Being accountable is a great skill to have as an employee and it shows you are capable of growth and change.
2. Explain the context
If a candidate has posted something that could be misunderstood or taken out of context, they should provide an explanation to not only the potential employer but to the public as well to put it in the right context.
3. Keep personal and professional accounts separate
It’s always a good idea to keep personal and professional accounts separate so that personal content does not interfere with a candidate’s job search.
4. Clean up your online presence
Candidates should review their social media profiles and remove any content that could be viewed as unprofessional or damaging to their job prospects.
5. Be mindful of privacy settings
Job candidates should also be aware of their privacy settings and make sure that their personal profiles are set to private or limit the information visible to the public.
Social media mistakes can happen to anyone. How you handle them can make a difference in whether you land the job. Being proactive and promptly and professionally addressing any mistakes can help mitigate the damage and increase your chances of getting hired.
Move forward with your career with DAVIS Companies.
Having a fabulous social media presence is a passive effort to get yourself employed. If you want to be more active in looking for your next job, you may just need the help of a staffing agency. Why not consider the help of one that holds its potential hires in high regard and is willing to guide them under the values of relationships, opportunity, commitment, and integrity?
We at DAVIS Companies wish to be of service to job seekers like you. We are dedicated to the continuous improvement of every professional within our circle, may it be our company clients, staff, or job hunters like yourself.
Our goal to deliver superior recruitment services is backed up by our strong belief in the DAVIS Way: honest team effort, compassion, personal integrity, and willingness to go above and beyond. Start your new era in career development. Contact DAVIS companies now!