So your reworked résumé looks great, you’ve written a persuasive cover letter, and you’re ready to send out job applications. Everything’s ready and organised, right?
Wrong. Your work’s not done yet. You’ve neglected a key part of the puzzle: What does your social media presence look like?
Employers and hiring managers are increasingly sussing out candidates online, finding them on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And they’re not just checking you out to see how well-behaved you are in your personal life. They’re also looking at how professionally you present yourself publicly (and online), and how much you demonstrate an interest in your field.
If you work in an industry, you should be sharing content on industry trends. This shows employers that you’re focused on staying educated and current. It says that you’re interested in learning, and you’re not just trying to score a paycheque.
And if you’ve got photos of yourself engaging in heavy drinking or illegal activity, or you’ve shared statuses that can be considered racist, sexist or defamatory in any way, you’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do.
A big fan of posting selfies? Make sure you’re fully clothed and appropriately dressed in each photo.
Of the employers who’ve not hired candidates based on their risqué social media content, 50 percent have turned down applicants for having sexually provocative photos of themselves on their accounts. Another 45 percent have not hired applicants because of portrayals of drinking and/or drug use.
And this isn’t just reserved for US companies — Caribbean employers and HR managers now practise social media checks on all potential hires. Says Sarah Arneaud, HR manager for Inglefield/Ogilvy & Mather, ”
And if you think you’ve gotten off scot-free, consider this: Have you ever complained about your job or your boss on Twitter before? Or on Facebook? This is also a huge red flag for HR managers: What’s to stop you from doing the same when you’re hired at their organisation? Can they trust you to be professional and confidential?
Just think about it this way: Anything that would make your mother recoil will make an HR manager recoil, too. Why chance it?
And it’s not just those on the job hunt who need to be wary. If you’re gainfully employed, it’s definitely worth it to clean up your social media presence — you won’t be working at your company forever. You may also be eyeing a promotion at work. Don’t you want to show your boss that you’re the perfect choice for that new managerial position that just opened up in your department?
With so many employers making hiring decisions based on a simple online search, the message is clear: if you’re looking for a job in the Caribbean, you’ve got to clean up your social media accounts.
Luckily for you, the folks at Business Insider spoke to a C-suite exec about what employers are looking for on your social media pages — the good, the bad and the cringeworthy. Does your Facebook account make the cut?