They are out there. The guardians and gatekeepers for that company you want to work for: recruiters – the ones who get to make the decisions for the next hire.
In a way you are at the mercy of their investigative skills. So how do you avoid being rejected by the company you so desperately want to go to work for, and at the same time have a strong online presence?
You can’t just go around deleting all of your online accounts, in a desperate attempt to get off the grid, and these days even if you are tagged in someone else photo, a recruiter who knows their stuff will find you. Even things that are deleted from your feed are not in cyber heaven like you think. The best sourcers will even find that if they want to.
The glut of information has given rise to special sourcing tools, which make this even easier. Maintaining an online personality will separate you from the rest of the competition, but showing too much can really hurt your chances.
Keep calm, and before you let the paranoia set in, read the guidelines below:
1) Post about your personal interests or hobbies: This will show those recruiters that you do other things than go out on the town every night. This also gives your feed clean content, that doesn’t need to be censored. You have opinions, thoughts, and feelings on the things that you are interested in outside of work – let your online viewers know this.
2) Keeping it light and positive: Humor will get you a long way with a recruiter. It allows you to show off that personality where posts about how your hate traffic fall short. Avoid talking about heavy feelings that you have weighing on your heart. Those conversations are better left with your therapist. Post about how the things that you are grateful for, or things that you are hopeful for. You will come across as a glass half full kind of person, a big plus for recruiters.
3) It’s not what you say, but how you say it: If you have an opinion on a touchy subject i.e. politics, religion, or something unfortunate happens in your life and you feel you must post about it, do it in such a way that is polite and respectful of everyone else on the web. Even if the recruiter has similar political opinions, you don’t want to badmouth anyone. That just tells a recruiter how you might handle yourself in the workplace.
4) Base your content on things that make you different: Use social media to stand out to recruiters. Maybe you like to write. Start a blog. Maybe you’re a wiz with creative suites. Post examples of your work. Maybe your spreadsheet game is on point. Let the people know about it!
Using all of your social media sites to market yourself to future employers will only help you in the long run.
5) Keep it legal: You might think this can go unsaid, but almost every weekend I am shocked to see plenty of people on my own feed that like to post pictures of underage drinking, drugs, and deviant activities. You might enjoy making dry ice bombs, doing donuts in the Wendy’s parking lot, and I am sure you had a blast at that party last night. Avoid at all costs sharing it with the internet.
Better yet avoid those things in general.
Depending on how you use social media, it can either set you apart or set you up for a recruiter’s trashcan. Taking a minute and thinking about all the people that could have access to your profile will drastically filter, and help your online presence. Instead of locking up all of your profiles so that only connections can see them, change the content that you post and let the World Wide Web know how great of a person you really are.