The Real Impact of Social Media on your Employability

The Real Impact Of Social Media On Your Employability

Did you know that over 50% of employers have reported that data found in a prospect’s social media profile led to their decision NOT to hire a candidate? On the flip side, 44% of employers have stated that information found online has solidified their pick when making a job offer.* In the spirit of helping you determine what data is safe to disclose and where, here are our top 3 recommendations for ensuring that your social media supports your employability.

*Data Courtesy of US News & World Report 

#1: Don’t Assume That Anything Other Than LinkedIn Is Untouchable. There is a common misconception that employers can only use what they find on LinkedIn to evaluate a candidate because every other platform is ‘personal’. In actuality, there is no baseline criteria as to what is ‘allowed’ to be utilized or not. And those who assume that protection comes in the form of security settings need to consider the repercussions of an employer viewing an inappropriate (and always public!) profile pic, a tagged posting (those ‘friends’ happen) or an innocently shared public post. 

According to CareerBuilder, some of the most common reasons that employers reject candidates based upon social media review are poor communication skills, posts that appear too frequent (i.e. on company time), discrepancies about qualifications and sharing of confidential information from previous employers. (This is of course in addition to the obvious discriminatory comments, provocative posts/photos, unprofessional screen names/handles  and drinking/drug use.) 

#2: Do Use Social Media To Help You Shine. The biggest mistake you can use is to avoid social media use altogether, as 57% of employers declare that they will not even consider a prospective employee without an online presence. One of the best ways to mitigate this preference is to keep your LinkedIn profile current, maximized to All-Star profile ranking and ensure that it verifies and corroborates your application and resume (nothing should be contradictory or confusing). In addition, Skill Endorsements and Recommendations can serve as a powerful voice to what your peers and past employers have said about you. 

In addition, don’t be shy about mentioning work achievements and ongoing education on social media platforms. Did you attend an amazing, industry renowned conference? Finish a big project ahead of schedule? Participate in a company-sponsored event? Be proud of who you are in the workplace and what you do and share it; just do so with sound judgement and without disclosing proprietary information. 

#3: Always Maximize The Power Of Connectivity. One of the most powerful ways that social media can impact your employability is often-overlooked. With so much focus on what our profiles say about us, we are getting away from what they can say about our interest in our industry and the companies we hope to work with. Don’t forget the ‘social’ part of social media: follow the business pages of your top company prospects on LinkedIn, engage in posts about their success and achievements,  join reputable industry-related communities and connect with hiring managers (LinkedIn only). Staying abreast of industry related publications and maintaining membership in professional associations can speak volumes to your dedication and commitment. Don’t have an online presence just to have one, make it meaningful. You know that they say about the extra mile, right? It’s never crowded! 

While it’s common to initially feel like social media can hinder more than help your job search, a strategic, thoughtful and proactive approach can actually be a winning distinction. Never underestimate how the right communication on the right platform can steer your career on the right track. 

Resources Used: 

How Social Media Can Help and Harm Your Job Search (Us News & World Report):

How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search (Forbes):