Getting your social media game face on really pays off

A great social media presence can lead to a better job, an improved personal profile or great coverage for your new business

Getting your social media game face on really pays off

Whether you’re working for yourself or currently employed, building a personal brand through social media can create new opportunities. This takes effort and planning but there are strong reasons why you should take the time to do this.

Employers are increasingly searching online prior to employing new team members. Having a strong social media profile can increase your chances of getting that new job. Conversely, having a poor brand image online can reduce your chances of being hired.”

Indeed, social media has become an almost universally-adopted method of recruitment research tool, with 92% of recruiters using it as part of their process, according to the study from employment service CareerBuilder, which surveyed more than 1,000 recruiters. Moreover, it revealed 87% use LinkedIn, 55% favour Facebook and 47% turn to Twitter. And among those doing social media digging to investigate candidates, 57% have at least once found content which caused them not to hire someone.

It makes sense to do a bit of online digging. At HomeXperts, I always Google a prospective franchise candidate. This has helped me avoid recruiting a convicted sex offender and a convicted murderer as neither candidate had revealed these fairly important details to me during the early stages of the interview process. Sure, once we got further through the recruitment procedure I would have found out but I could’ve wasted a significant amount of time and resource on totally unsuitable prospective franchisees.

What is it that candidates are posting which are a recruitment turn-off? Provocative or inappropriate pictures rate as the highest likely content to scupper your job prospects. In the survey, 40% of recruiters stopped the recruitment process after finding inappropriate content online, such as comments that discriminate based on race, religion and sexuality. Recruiters also take note of inappropriate screen names and email addresses.

If you’re applying for a job or setting up your own business, it’s time to tidy up your social media. It’s certainly time to change the privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram to keep them private with public profiles on LinkedIn or Twitter instead.

Concentrate on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date and accurately reflects what’s on your CV.

Another important step is to Google yourself. You may be surprised what you find. Reviews of restaurants, comments on websites – your online history could be there for all to see. It’s time to clean up your act online by removing anything which could be considered controversial.

While you don’t want to be too bland online, smartening up your online act could have long-term benefits, leading to new employment, new clients or a new business.”

Sussanne Chambers
Sussanne Chambers