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Social media can help – or hurt – your career. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of your resume, cover letter and interview.

Just remember, while social media is a prime communication vehicle, it’s all public. So, use your best judgment regarding what is posted about you, especially as you navigate the job market.

A Basic Leadership Competency

In one recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study, 34 percent of employers said a prospective hire’s social media content caused them not to hire that person. About half said their decision was due to provocative or inappropriate photos or information that candidates had posted. Other reasons, all gleaned from social media searches, included:

  • Evidence of drinking and/or drug use.
  • The fact that online postings displayed poor communication skills.
  • Badmouthing of a previous employer.
  • Discriminating content based on race, gender or religion.
  • Evidence of lying about professional qualifications.

The SHRM report based on the study recommends that job seekers:

  • Have a complete LinkedIn profile.
  • Keep all their public content professional.
  • Join social media groups relevant to their profession.
  • Focus their postings on accomplishments and skills that are helpful to employers.
  • Have connections and followers who are relevant to their careers.

A strong, carefully strategized social media presence is a basic leadership competency. More than 90 percent of employers use social media for hiring, so it’s critical you brush up your online presence and maximize your network.

  • Carefully manage your social media profile. This includes photos. Notably, be sure your LinkedIn profile picture is a tasteful, professional head shot. But with all content, on all social platforms, remove anything that presents you in a less-than-favorable light.
  • Update information regularly. Similar to running an anti-virus check on your computer, do a periodic assessment to remove anything from social media that may be harmful to your reputation. If you can’t take it down yourself, contact the person who posted it and have them do so.
  • Google yourself. See if anything – good or bad – pops up within the first three pages of your search results. This is how you will appear to potential employers.

The PrideStaff Fresno team of experts can help you ensure successful results in your job search, from start to finish. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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