Some Australian research conducted on behalf of telecom company Telstra recently suggested that for most people their social media profiles do more harm than good when it comes to attracting job offers.
As many as 40% of the employers surveyed reported that they did not like what they found when they browsed a candidates social media profile.
"According to the findings, some of the biggest Cyber CV faux pas candidates make include posting inappropriate pictures (with 31 per cent of employers saying this counts against applicants) and posting discriminatory comments (37 per cent)," said Telstra officer of internet trust and safety, Darren Kane.
All is not lost however. About 1/3 of employers reported that the final hiring decision was made because of information contained in a candidates profile.
So what can you do to make sure your own social media profile puts you into the hire camp rather than the fire camp.
5 do's and 5 don'ts for making your social profile a job magnet
- Include your skills - If you want to get that job you need to show off the skills you have and, of course, match them with what the employer wants.
- Have lots of references - Just as when buying a product however, your boasts are much more believable if they're backed up by third parties, so make sure you have lots of other people saying how great you are.
- Show off your awards - Have you won any awards or prizes? So long as they're work related then they're a great testimonial for your skills and talents.
- Build your network - Some 48% of jobs are said to come via word of mouth. In our social age it's no longer a case of what you know, not even who you know, but who knows what you know. So get out there and share ideas with a wide network of people.
- Google your name - Most employers will put candidates name into Google during the recruitment process. You need to make sure that the first page is littered with good examples of your prowess.
- Slag off your workplace - If you're caught bad mouthing your current employer then there's a good chance future employers will think they could be in line next.
- Leak confidential information - Social media is great for spreading information, but employers will be very keen to stress that only the right information is spread. If you've got a blabber mouth then don't expect job offers to flood in.
- Post dodgy photos - The posting of people in compromising situations is a common complaint of recruiters. So common in fact you'd think people would wise up by now, except many still get caught out by it. Don't be one of them.
- Don't let your friends sink you - Just as you shouldn't post bad things yourself, you shouldn't let your friends sully your good name by posting poor things on your profile. Guilt by association will inevitably follow.
- Know your privacy settings - If you want your Facebook page to show the 'real you', make sure you have your privacy settings setup so that these things aren't in the public domain. Try Googling yourself to see exactly what can be seen by non-members, non-friends and friends. Oh, and if you want to divide professional and personal, it's best not to befriend colleagues, especially your boss!
I'm a great believer in the power of social media for your personal brand, but you need to make sure you don't commit any faux pas to make the most of the platform.
These 5 do's and don'ts should get you off on the right foot.
What other tips do you have for turning your social media platforms into job magnets?