How much value does an employer actually put on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + or Twitter account? Depending on the company, it turns out to be quite a lot. What you might not know is that most of the time, it is the hiring authority that will “Google” you right before your final interview. They want to see what they can find out about you. Believe it or not, they are really just looking for a train wreck so don’t worry too much about any of this stuff (unless of course your social profiles completely contradict your submitted background). The dangerous part about this is that most hiring managers do this without the company’s consent. The information acquired can then factor into the final decision.
So what can you do to make sure your social media profiles are marketing “YOU” at your best? There are three things you MUST you do when you are engaged in a job search to maximize your social power to help your career.
- Treat your social media sites like a mini website. Make sure all your social media profiles are filled with keywords that showcase your skills so that your search engine optimization (SEO) value is strong. Recruiters will find you via these keywords. You will also make it easier for hiring managers that Google you to find the real you. Your pictures, status updates and content should be tweaked so that you can give an employer or recruiter a clear message on who you are and what you do. For example, Twitter allows you to give a description about yourself. This should be a mini, keyword-filled resume. The picture above is a great example. Notice the keywords: insurance, adjuster, livestock, Lexington and Kentucky. If any company is looking for a livestock adjuster, they would be able to find Tom Keller in five seconds!
- Accuracy. Over 50% of LinkedIn profiles don’t match the resumes that jobseekers send into companies. This is a huge problem that you can control. The big issue is work history. Wrong dates, missing jobs and wrong objectives can really hurt your chances. You control this message, make it right!
- Control your social media. Many of you think Facebook and Twitter are “social” and any information gathered should not be used against you in a job search. If you don’t want employers accessing this information during your job search, turn them off! Getting a great job is all about your skill sets and past performance. Don’t give hiring managers and recruiters even a slight opportunity to make a judgment about you because your social media accounts do a horrible job of betraying the real you. You have complete control of your social media presence.
Social media is not going away. Used properly, jobseekers can separate themselves from the pack by giving recruiters and employers information that showcases their best skills. You have complete control over the message, so make sure to put your best face forward!