Social Media and Looking for a Job
Looking for a job? Time to update your socials. Employers today are increasingly tech-savvy and increasingly likely to look you up online. Here's what you need to know.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Your LinkedIn is the first place that most employers will go for information about you. Make sure it's updated with your experience — so they can easily see who you have worked with in the past and what roles you'd be well-suited to in the future. Connect with colleagues and even friends to show that you have a strong network.
In general, when you're looking for a job, you want as little out there as possible. But you do want what is out there to be as good as possible. There's something called the "Streisand" effect. If you try to delete something from the internet that's embarrassing, you probably won't be successful. But what you can do is flood the internet with overwhelmingly positive content, which overrides it.
Lock Your Personal Accounts
It's time to go private. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you aren't maintaining a public appearance, you should just go private. It might not be anything that you say. It could be something random and arbitrary, such as a comment that someone else makes on your page. There's no reason to give people a reason to doubt you, even in a hot job market.
You can let everyone know that you're going dark because you're job hunting; that way, they won't worry when you're suddenly off all social media.
Deleting Your Comments
In addition to locking accounts, there are plug-ins and extensions that you can use to automatically delete things like Reddit comments once they're old enough (generally about 30 days).
This may seem paranoid, but sometimes there are just things you don't want people to know about yourself. Maybe you don't want an employer to know about an employer that you left off your resume, because it was a difficult situation and you didn't leave on the best of terms.
Maybe you just don't want your new employer to see that you posted how much you make — you'd rather negotiate on firmer footing. Either way, you have a right to privacy.
You can't ever really delete anything off the internet though (you can just make it a little harder to find), so be cautious about what you post in the first place.
The Value of Social Media in Recruitment
Not only should you curate your social media for the purposes of employment, but also consider that you can get recruited through social media, too. Look for jobs on Twitter, for instance; you'll see a lot of great companies posting their open careers. If there are companies that you really want to work for, follow them and wait for them to post more information.
Social media follows us throughout our lives. That can be a double-edged sword. You might be able to enjoy pictures from your holiday 5 years ago, but what will an employer think about the pictures you posted when you were 12?
For some, it can be a good idea to routinely scrub your social media presence. For others, maybe your social media presence is an irrevocable part of yourself and your career. Either way, you should give it a good look.