Social media and networking sites are great places to keep in touch with mates, stay up to date with world news, and post those horrendous drunk photos from that wicked party. But, did you know social media is also one of the best ways for employers to complete a cheeky background check?
While you want the world (your mates) to see the ‘real you’ (all the best bits) on your social media, you really don’t want to put off potential employers. This doesn’t mean that you have to create two different accounts, but try to think of ways to take advantage of your social media, e.g. using it to stay informed and network with recruiters.
You really need to think who can access your account information, posts, and what can be seen judged of you. Make the most of the privacy settings, otherwise you can expect just about anyone on the internet to be able to view everything.
A simple trick is to logout of your accounts, go through a private, incognito webpage, and google yourself. Anything you don’t want to have seen can be hidden by modifying your privacy settings. Like maybe that night you got ridiculously white-girl-wasted, threw up in you BFF’s mums car and ended up passed out in a bathtub. Oh and then the photographic evidence made it to Facebook as some sort of justice – and became the most like picture of you. Mortified. Yeah. Employers don’t want to see it. They won’t be impressed by the 136 likes either.
Another rule to run by is to separate your personal and professional online personas. Draw the line between your accounts and the social networking sites. You can use Magnet.me for recruiters and Facebook/Instagram for mates, and try to not let your social life accounts seep into your professional ones. Also don’t forget to check and sort out anything that you may have posted with your real name like, YouTube, blogs, forum posts or twitter feeds.
It is especially important to remember to use a professional email and voicemail, essential for when you have a telephone interview.
The advantage of having an online presence
Social media is a great way to reach out to recruiters and get in contact and find out more about their organisations. Contacting a company representative before an interview can help calm your nerves and gives you something to refer back to.
Many companies have a big Twitter and LinkedIn presence, so it wouldn’t hurt to create a professional Twitter and/or LinkedIn account. Use it to keep up with information about your chosen company and industry. It can also help with your employer research.
Ready to setup your separate social media accounts and get into job-searching-mode? Check out Magnet.me to connect with companies that are looking for someone like you!