It is now uncommon for people to not have multiple social media accounts; ranging from Twitter to Pinterest to LinkedIn, most young and middle-aged people — if not everyone — use social media on a daily basis. If you’re on the job hunt, it’s increasingly important to assess your social media brand to ensure you’re making the best first impression possible.
Whether it’s your frequent Instagram posts or your profile pictures on Facebook, recruiters are, in fact, looking at your photos. What are they looking for exactly? For starters, they want to see if you present yourself in a professional and positive light. In addition, hiring managers will also read your photo captions and descriptions, analyzing your vocabulary, what you support, and how you display yourself to the world.
Who You Follow
You can follow other users on just about every social media account. The people, hashtags, and companies you choose to support say a lot about your values and your character. Do you have any mutual connections in the hiring manager’s industry? If so, what do they have to say about you? If you follow lots of people and firms that are involved in your hopeful employer’s industry, this shows the recruiter that you’re very interested in and passionate about the job and the company.
When you tweet or post an update to Facebook, what is the general mood of your content? Recruiters want an employee who posts insightful, relevant information, steers clear of constant media bickering, and offers a positive and delightful presence to the social media world. Scan your posts for inappropriateness or irrelevance to your job hunt. Make sure you’re representing yourself in the best light possible and you’re showcasing your most authentic self.
A resume can often solely display the positive highlights of a candidate’s experience, education, and skillset, while overlooking characteristics that are integral to the person. Recruiters want to see that your social media profiles are in line with how you present yourself on paper. In other words, do you represent yourself as put-together, professional, and innovative on your resume, yet constantly post photos on social media of yourself at parties and behaving inappropriately? Make sure your stories line up online and offline. You don’t want to have to explain inconsistent behavior in the middle of an interview.
Before you apply for a job, it’s wise to run through all of your social media accounts and clean up any irrelevant or inappropriate content. Create profiles that are consistent and professional, and try to exhibit your best qualities through what you post. At the end of the day, your Facebook activity could be the deciding factor in a hiring decision. You’d rather be safe than sorry, so make your social media brand admirable.
AAFA is a national professional partnership of finance and accounting search firms. Not only do AAFA’s members assist client companies in recruiting, they also aid in candidates’ searches for finance and accounting career placement. AAFA’s agencies cover local markets across the United States and provide the same sophistication and character at each location. Find an affiliate or a new job opportunity near you at aafa.com.