For the active job seeker, having a social media profile can be both a blessing and a curse. This is because many job seekers forget to clean up their social media profiles or protect their personal information while conducting a job search.
It’s a known fact that recruiters are spending a great deal of time browsing through the profiles of potential candidates. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your social media profiles present the best image of you to potential hiring companies.
The BIG List of Social Network Profile Mishaps
Here are the biggest mistakes that job seekers make with their social media profiles. Read and learn!
#1 – Bad profile picture
The picture that you choose for your social media profile speaks volumes about your value to recruiters. A bad photo will stop recruiters from learning more about you. Therefore, stop with all the “cutesy” or “expressive” pictures and instead get a professional headshot photo taken. Use this on your profile.
#2 – Not using real name
There seems to be varying opinions about the use of real first and last names for social networks, due to privacy issues. However, if you want a hiring manager to be able to learn more about you, create at least one social profile that contains your full name. This will be your career building profile so keep it professional.
#3 – Duplicate social accounts
While you are creating new social network profiles, make sure to weed out any duplicate references to your name across all social networks. Why is this important? Because recruiters will be looking for you online and if they come across multiple accounts using your name or variations of your name this will throw them off and they will think you are trying to beat the system.
#4 – Questionable or offensive content
A big part of presenting yourself online in social networks is about preserving your online image. Make sure that you remove any potentially offensive content such as posts, images, or videos created by yourself or your followers. You can disable them so that they will still remain in your archive, however they will be invisible. This also goes for content you are tagged in by others.
#5 – No comment moderation
It’s fairly common for people to vent online in their social networks, nowadays. However, as a serious job seeker you should control what you say on your accounts. This also includes moderating any comments left by others. Make sure you’re putting your best image out there and let others know you are on the search for a job so they must keep it clean.
#6 – Bashing current employer or clients
This is a big no-no. There’s virtually no recruiter or employer out there who wants to see negative comments, complaining or whining about a current or past employers. We all have bad days at work, but leave it off social feeds. This is especially true when writing anything negative about clients. Avoid this at all costs.
#7 – Misleading information across networks
Whatever you do, please do not try to fake it on social networks. Recruiters are very wise to the different tactics that job seekers use to try to paint themselves in a better light. The best course of action is to create an authentic brand for yourself. This includes highlighting your skills, achievements, and credentials. Be truthful and never, ever lie to look better.
#8 – Lack of professional networking
Another mistake that job seekers continually make with their social network profiles is to avoid networking with other professionals in the industry. To a hiring manager, this looks like either a candidate is inexperienced or not entirely serious about their job search. Reach out and connect with colleagues to build your networks.
#9 – Leaving profile open to hackers
Hacking of social media profiles is something that happens on a daily basis around the world. When this happens, your social profile can become an instant spam creation tool that will send out annoying and offensive messages to anyone in your network. Avoid this from happening by setting your privacy settings and monitoring your social networks for any potentially specials activity. Sign out of your accounts when you’re not using them and use caution when accessing social networks via mobile devices.
#10 – No social profiles, anywhere
Job seekers may not realize this, but from the perspective of a recruiter — not being able to find a social media profile for a candidate raises a red flag. Why? Because in this day and age it is expected that candidates will be actively networking to find jobs online. Job seekers are expected to have some level of knowledge of the internet and social networking. Not having a profile means that you are not up to speed with the latest technology.
We hope that you take the time to review your own social network profiles and clean them up so you are not making the above mistakes. Use these pointers as a guide, and as always we love to hear your feedback!