Social Media can be one of the most powerful and influential tools in your job search, but while outlets like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can your job search's best friend, they can also quickly become your search's worst enemy. We asked a handful of experts what the most common social media mistakes job seekers make, and here is what they said:
- Not giving profiles a proper "web audit" BEFORE you start searching: One of the quickest ways a candidate can get axed from the pipeline is by having an unprofessional social media profile. To ensure that your online presence is 100% professional, do a thorough review of all your social media profiles. Kurt Rakos, partner at specialized recruitment firm, SkyWater Search Partners, advises jobseekers to give themselves a web audit "before you start your search because if you do it during or after you have applied it may simply be too late. Be proactive because being reactive seldom cures first impressions."
- Making a bad digital impression: In order to effectively audit your digital presence, start by reviewing your headshot. Ask yourself if it projects the same image you would in person at a job interview. As Content Director for online marketing solution provider, BizBrag, Hannah Marr often sees potential candidates blow their chances due to an unprofessional digital presence. "It's important for people not to only use the outlets as a means to find potential jobs, but they should also recognize that any undesirable information or pictures that are on their accounts should be deleted - not just hidden - if they plan to use social media to find a job."
- Failing to proofread your profile: There are few things less professional than a LinkedIn profile full of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. One of the ways Allie VanNest, head of communications for advanced proofreading and writing support site, Grammarly.com, evaluates a candidate's professionalism is by the number of typos they have in their LinkedIn profile. "Spelling and grammar mistakes precede you. They say that you are careless and may not be a professional in all aspects of work." Adam Kirsch, COO of Ithaca, NY based college housing leasing site Yorango.com, also agrees with VanNest. While he finds LinkedIn to be a very effective tool for deciding whether or not a candidate is a good fit for his firm, he mentions that grammatical errors are one of his biggest turnoffs when looking at a candidate's social media profile. "If a LinkedIn profile lacks proper capitalization, punctuation and spelling, it is just as damaging as a resume littered with typos."
- Forgetting that any and all information you share online is PUBLIC: With privacy settings and friendship requests, it is easy to forget that information shared online can be accessed by the public. As Chief Platform Officer for Real Estate firm Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, Diane Danielson says the common denominator between all social media forums is that they are public, and that more often than not job seekers forget that their social media profiles are one of the first ways a recruiter chooses to assess a potential candidate. "If I can find it on Google, then I can hold it against you," she comments. "Making appropriate things private shows maturity and judgment. If you do keep your feeds public, and are applying for a job, then I would assume you would clean them up or make them private." Matthew Schwartz, Account Executive for identity protection and reputation management service, TrustedID, adds "Remember that social media lives forever, just because comments and photos are deleted doesn't mean they are gone. It may be a private profile, but it's a public site. Always assume that what goes up will be seen by the world."
Happy hunting, and CAREFUL posting.