What’s the first thing recruiters and hiring managers do when they come across a candidate’s profile? If you answered, ‘look the candidate up on social media’, you would be right. According to reports, 92% of companies globally use social media to look for and screen candidates. It’s no secret that social media screening has now become part of the standard protocol that many recruiters and employers use to gain insight into the life and mind of jobseekers.
What are recruiters and hiring managers looking for when they browse a candidate’s social media profile? They’re looking for an in-depth understanding of the candidate’s personality, the way they think, their values, and to understand if they would be the right fit for the company’s culture. After all, skills can be taught, but culture must be caught. So, even before a candidate utters a word to a recruiter or a hiring manager, their social media profiles have already been reviewed, and those in charge have formed an opinion of the candidate. Every meeting after that is to validate (or not) the assumptions made about the candidate.
How many candidates have been cast aside without being allowed to dazzle the hiring manager with their skills and prowess just because the recruiter found some objectionable content on their social media? Way too many to count. Whether you agree with the practice or not, this is how recruiters and employers separate potential candidates from the rest. So, don’t be the unsuspecting casualty of a social media profile that’s not presenting you in the best light. Make sure you fix your social media profiles; begin with having the right mindset.
Here are SIX ways you can use your social media profile to your advantage and make a stellar impression.
- Adopt the right mindset: For most of us, in the beginning, social media was a way to connect with friends and family, so it didn’t matter how we portrayed ourselves there. While that may be true for Facebook and some social channels, random strangers, including hiring managers and recruiters screening potential profiles, can view your public profiles. Therefore, it’s not enough to treat your social media channels casually; treat them as an online resume instead, an online billboard advertising your potential.
- Set up to create a good first impression: They say never judge a book by its cover, but that’s precisely what the human brain is wired to do when looking at a social media profile. To make a good first impression ensure that you have an updated profile picture. Next, spend time crafting an intelligent bio that highlights what you do and why people should hire you. A well-written “about me” will give a massive boost to your chances of making a good impression. Finally, spend time thinking about how you want to be viewed professionally, then write out what you do and what drives you.
- Speak up loud: Recruiters are curious to know more about your values and opinions. Have insightful conversations with people on LinkedIn, and don’t be afraid to talk about your passions. Participate in discussions on topics that are close to your heart or are relevant to your industry. This shows recruiters that you’re genuinely passionate about what you do and are willing to learn. If you have a hobby, speak up about it too.
- Exercise restraint: It’s not uncommon for recruiters to scroll through not just your LinkedIn but even your Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts. Be careful what pictures and content you post and share from your accounts. While it’s important to be yourself, social media is based on appearances. So that questionable picture of you and your buds drunk at your last party may not be the best version of yourself that you want to show to a potential boss.
- Highlight your achievements: A great way to turn heads on social media is to show off your accomplishments. If you’ve done something that you’re proud of or published an insightful article, then don’t be afraid to show it off. Recruiters are looking to be impressed, and your achievements will do just that.
- Scrub it clean: It’s been a few decades since the birth of the internet, so it’s not uncommon to have a dormant or old social media account you no longer use. Embarrassing old photos from college are great for a laugh, but if you’re serious about how recruiters perceive you, then make it private or delete it.
Most of what we’ve suggested above points to steering clear of human biases and sometimes, even using them to your advantage. Yes, recruiters and hiring managers are naturally biased on many aspects that you should consider while creating your public image. However, Spottabl is mitigating this human bias via compelling storytelling for both job seekers and employers. So, sign up here to create your Spottabl profile and showcase your mettle to prospective employers.