Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
It is the night before your big interview for one of your dream job opportunities, and you are researching all there is to know about the company. You are looking at every social media platform the company is actively on, discretely finding the human resource manager on LinkedIn to gather a few details, and jotting down a few buzz words to sprinkle into the conversation. Like any eager future employee, you are doing your part to make sure you have what the company is looking for. Now picture this, that company is more than likely researching all there is to know about YOU!
Social media took the Internet by storm almost immediately when it was launched in every household. Within twenty years, Hootsuite has recorded there to be 3.48 billion active social media users as of 2019. This means that out of the 7.67 billion humans in the world, 45% of the population has some form of social media account. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms have made it easier for job recruiters and human resource teams to screen job candidates before putting them on the interviewee list for their latest open position.
But what exactly are these recruiters looking for? It may not be as intrusive as it sounds. There are four main reasons why your social media profile may be getting clicked on.
- They are looking for information that supports why you fit the job description. Recruiters are looking at your ‘About Me’ section to see how you describe yourself to be. Reading your public information about previous jobs, highlighted career moments, etc. are some of the key places that may be reviewed.
- They are seeing just how professional you appear to be. Yes, please be mindful of your P’s & Q’s. Spelling and grammar are definitely at the top of the list in how you conduct your professionalism on your social media presence. While there can be a sense of casualness online, social media can reveal your professional persona either in a good way or be an unflattering representation.
- They are reading the comments on your wall and posts you are tagged in. Content matters! Not only the content you are posting for all to see, but what others may be posting or commenting with you in it. What kind of picture are others painting you to be? Recruiters may see a red flag if there is a questionable acquaintance loitering your profile.
- Last but not least, any reasons why they should NOT hire you. Anything that may lead to being false information could have the potential of hindering your ‘You’re hired!’ moment. Are you living a double life and posting it all over social media? While this could be harmless, it could hurt how you are perceived in the work world.
“The question isn’t ‘What do we want to know about people?’, It’s ‘What do people want to tell about themselves?” These are words spoken from the Facebook guru himself, Mark Zuckerburg. Social media is full of blurred lines between social and professional worlds. We have access to so much information; we are living in the information age. As fast as we are googling company reviews on Glassdoor or Monster, employers are clicking just as quick on our profiles to see what we are all about.