By now, you should be well aware of the fact that most employers are checking your social media presence before they present a job offer, and if you’re not – hop off Facebook for a split second and make yourself aware. But just what are employers looking for when they troll your Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (if you’re one of the few who still uses theirs) and LinkedIn profiles?
According to a survey by startup Reppler, prospective employers may reject you if they find on your social media profiles that you lied about your job qualifications or showcased drinking or doing drugs on your profile. No survey respondents indicated they would deny a candidate based on sharing a shady mutual Facebook friend, so that’s a relief for those of you with shady customers in your social media circle. It’s also not a good idea to post negative comments about past employers or share confidential information from old jobs. Keep your inappropriate photos and comments in check, and make sure you show you are capable of communicating as well (so keep the Caps Lock key off and the punctuation to a minimum, please).
But fear not Facebookers, there was some positive news from this survey, too. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said social networking profiles helped get a prospective employee the job. So tell your mom your Twitter addiction might just get you a job one day, but don’t blame me for that. Specific reasons as to how a social media profile helped a job candidate included: a profile that supports their professional qualifications, demonstrating he or she is creative, exhibiting good communications skills, showcasing awards and honors, and good references posted by others.
Being aware of what employers want on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean you should completely censor yourself and not let your true self shine through on social media. Just remind yourself before you post that on your next job search, there may be strangers’ eyes checking your tweets, status updates and Friday night photos to see if you’re right for the job.