The impact social media has on a candidate potentially landing a new job has significantly increased in recent years. In a 2020 survey, 70% of employers said they believe every company should screen candidates’ social media profiles during the hiring process. Tessa Laing, OhioMeansJobs Allen County Regional Marketing Coordinator, explained, “Social media allows employers to see who you are behind the scenes and helps them to determine how well you’ll fit into their company culture.”
What is a social media screening?
A social media screening typically involves researching a candidate’s normal activity on social media including the type of content they post, comments, and pictures. “When reviewing applicants, employers will generally look for any red flags which could include the sharing of illegal activities, aggressive behavior, and inappropriate pictures or comments,” said Laing. It’s important to note that just because the account is for personal use, it does not mean it’s private.
Use Social Media to your Benefit
While the social media screening may deter employers from hiring certain candidates, it can also work positively. Use social media strategically and tactfully to share current work experience, personal and professional accomplishments, or volunteer work you may have participated in. “If you’re in the process of applying to jobs, be sure to update your employment and education sections on your social media profiles,” Laing said. “You can also use your profiles to highlight your community ties and do some professional networking!”
What to Avoid
To get the best response from an employer’s hiring team and pass the social media screening, avoid any content that could be seen as distasteful. “Review your content to ensure it’s not contradicting the image you want to portray to a potential employer,” Laing explained. “Be mindful of what you’re posting, sharing, and commenting.” Photos are not exempt! Avoid posting and photos or videos containing explicit or illegal content.
Social Media Tips when Applying for Jobs
- Check past posts! Just because it was posted in 2018, doesn’t mean it’s no longer public
- Review all social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok can all be easily searched
- Delete any content that might deter a potential employer
- Update your profiles to include current and/or recent employment, education, achievements, etc.
- Practice professional networking and make connections
For more information or to work one-on-one with a Career Consultant, visit OMJAllen.com or call 419-999-0360.