These days, job searching and social media go hand in hand so your social profile can definitely make or break your job search. As the holidays descend upon us and the festivities get into full swing, as hard as it may be, it’s really important to consider what you are posting to your social media accounts and what those posts may say about you to a potential employer. You also need to keep watch on what your friends may be posting and tagging you in. While you or your friends may be excited that your post gets hundreds of likes or retweets, could a potential employer use it as a reason not to hire you?
Many people think the holidays are a good time to take a break from their job search and enjoy the holiday cheer and that potential employers aren’t hiring during this time. But contrary to popular belief, the holidays are a good time of year to find a job. Employers don’t stop hiring just because it’s the holiday season. And what better time to use for networking your way to a new job than all the holiday social events you will be attending?
Here are a few statistics from a recent CareerBuilder survey to consider before posting:
- According to the survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, which is up significantly from 60 percent in 2016.
- 3 in 10 employers have someone dedicated to solely getting the scoop on your online persona.
So what exactly are employers looking for when they are researching candidates via social media networking sites?
- Information that supports their qualifications for the job
- If the candidate has a professional online presence at all
- What other people are posting about the candidate
- Any reason at all not to hire a candidate
And what’s more, employers (69%) are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to research candidates as well. So make sure you are doing some research on yourself via these search engines to see what you find.
Curious to know the key reasons employers did not to hire a candidate based on what they saw on their social media profiles? The top reasons were:
- Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information
- Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs
- Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion
- Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
- Candidate lied about qualifications
- Candidate had poor communication skills
- Candidate was linked to criminal behavior
- Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers
- Candidate’s screen name was unprofessional
- Candidate lied about an absence
- Candidate posted too frequently
The key to posting on social media while you are searching for a job, and especially during the holiday season, is to be mindful and consider each post from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you and think about what that post will say about you. Don’t let one too many cups of eggnog cloud your judgement as cute or fun as you think a post may be. Potential employers don’t know you and may be using social media to form an opinion of you. Think about what you are posting to your social media accounts and that whatever it may be will help potential employers form accurate opinions of you that will help them decide you are the right person for the job – both personally and professionally.
And remember, the holidays are the perfect reason to reach out to your networking contacts, recruiters and employers you have interviewed with to send them a quick message to wish them Happy Holidays or greetings for the New Year.
If you are a candidate looking for a new opportunity this holiday season, let us help you find it!