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Strange but TRUE!


You are what you share on social sites; Deepa Basfore explores how potential employers today, check the sociology and psychology of a job seeker using social networking sites.

Do you love posting boozing images, foul language and insensitive jokes on your Facebook account, just to get some likes or comments?

If yes, stop doing it! Your resume, cover letter and references may not be enough for the recruiters to judge you. They may also look at your account on any social media to check you more personally. Yes, it’s true; a nationwide survey reveals that two out of every five companies examine job candidates on social networking sites. As such, some potential employees might find themselves at the wrong end of the stick.

The new media has definitely made life easier but it also has its fair share in complexity of life, if not managed properly. The Internet today offers recruiters a mine of information about potential hires—and much of it doesn’t make for a good first impression. Social media continues to grow in popularity. However, the challenge for employers is to decide which gaffes are acceptable—and which are deal breakers.

The echo boomers are more vulnerable to these mistakes because they have a greater presence on social media and have grown up sharing their thoughts and feelings online. Many of them are open to adding superiors and colleagues as Facebook friends but don’t have enough work experience to understand that certain behaviour might be inappropriate for a professional audience.

When you put something on the internet no matter if you set it to private, others will be able to find a way out to view on what you’re posting. You join these sites knowing that you become public so you cannot expect much privacy. Once it is put on the internet, it’s for everyone to see, no matter what your private settings are. If they want, people will always find a way to see what you are trying to hide. Social networking is great, but you need to be smart enough to use it judiciously.

The bottom line is that it is important for users, whether they are looking for a job or building up their professional reputation, to manage their online image across the different social networks they use.

And, if you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage. Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.

Your digital footprint says a lot about you–it’s extremely accessible. One should work on building strong social networks and creating online profiles that does a good job in representing your skills and experience at the workplace.

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One may be wondering what the recruiters want to see because you have given most of the information in your resume. A nationwide survey found that employers who used social media as part of their research took the below criteria into account:

– Communication skills of the candidate

– Candidate’s compatibility with the company’s culture

– Credible references posted about them by others

– Wide range of interests

  • Awards and accolades received
  • Posting of provocative/inappropriate photos/info
  • Whether the candidate bad mouthed previous employer
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.

For job seekers looking to clean up their act and get hired, here are some tips on how to create a more positive online reputation.

1. Google Yourself

Type your name in every major search engine to see what is associated with your name. If you find any unacceptable tags linked to your name, then you can make necessary amendments online or you can prepare yourself before the interviewers accordingly.

2. Don’t Rely on Privacy Settings

While it’s important to understand privacy settings for individual social networking sites, using good judgment is paramount to trying to conceal certain posts and pictures.

3. Remove Every Potentially-Inappropriate Picture/Post

While you may want to post photos of personal and social interactions on your page, employers are looking to see if candidates have a good sense of what should be public versus private.

4. Keep Language in Mind

While one should refrain from posting about polarizing or controversial topics such as religious or political discussions while on the job hunt, one should omit posting negative opinions about any previous or current internship or work experience, faculties or friends.

5. Showcase Your Talent– This is your opportunity to provide evidence that you are as exceptional as your resume says by posting awards and accolades you’ve received, volunteer activities, your accomplishments, etc.

6. Keep Tabs – Pay attention to what others are posting on your profile and what you’re tagged in to protect your online image.

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