Rick Sears Shares Dos and Don’ts for Job Hunters
Perhaps we’ve become a culture of amateur detectives. Admit it: You’ve probably done a little Internet research on ex-boyfriends or girlfriends. Maybe you’ve looked up people you used to know in high school to find out if they’re really as successful as everyone said they’d be. These days, it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t participating in a little social media sleuthing.
While it may seem like harmless fun, keep in mind that some social media recon can have serious consequences in terms of your present and future employment.
Why is that? Many businesses have turned to social media to conduct research on potential job candidates. That includes candidates for professional medical assistant, health claims specialist, pharmacy technician, or massage therapist positions.
So the question is, what does your social media usage say about you?
The ‘Real’ You
Ricks Sears, one of the nation’s leading career-readiness experts and a recent speaker at several Salter campuses, says in his book The Top 10 Secrets to Getting Hired that many businesses now consider social media research to be a supplement to their reference checks of potential hires. In fact, some companies even hire outside firms to compile information about prospects from online sources.
Why do these companies want to dig into your social media activity? According to Sears, many hiring managers believe that doing so gives them the opportunity to see the “real” you.
That’s can be good news/bad news scenario. Sears states that 70% of companies report not hiring a person because of something they saw on social media. On the flipside, 90% of hiring managers reported having found posts on a social media profile that swayed them to hire a job candidate.
What You Can Do
That means it’s critical for you to have a hire-worthy image on all of your social media profiles when you’re job hunting.
Sears recommends scrubbing your accounts with the thought that anything you post may be seen by a potential employer. Keep in mind that privacy settings only go so far, and you may not be able to tell if people can view your activity through mutual contacts.
Consider deleting these things:
- Any posts with foul language
- Photos involving drinking alcohol or questionable behavior
- Posts that badmouth anyone, especially former employers, coworkers, or people of other races, religions, or gender
Emphasize these things:
- Any time you took the initiative to attend a job fair, complete an internship, or participate professional development opportunities
- A positive attitude toward life and others
- Your excellent communication skills, including correct spelling and proper grammar
Sears also recommends creating a LinkedIN profile if you don’t already have one, as that may be the main place potential employers will search.
Have additional questions about job hunting in your field? Make an appointment to speak with Salter’s Career Services department.