Reflect professionalism on social media
November 15, 2012
We’re all guilty of “Facebook Stalking.” Or as I prefer to call it: being really, really, friendly.
“Facebook Stalking” is the art of looking through someone’s photos, statuses and other posts.
People who stalk might do it just to “catch up” on what’s been going on in that person’s week. If really motivated, the last five years of their life.
But people you do not even know may be looking into your profile at this very moment. People you need to impress.
That’s right: employers.
In fact, 73 percent of job recruiters will look into a candidate’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, according to Dan Schawbel in a Time.com article “How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now.”
That means the majority of those dream jobs, or barely-pay-the-bills jobs, are looking into what you share.
“References to illicit drugs, posts of a sexual nature and mentions of alcohol consumption were likely to be viewed negatively by 78 percent, 67 percent and 47 percent of recruiters,” according to the Time article.
Poor grammar and spelling mistakes have a greater negative reaction by recruiters than alcoholic references. Grammar errors are viewed negatively by 54 percent of employers whereas alcohol-related posts are only viewed negatively by 47 percent of employers.
So to those of you that I’ve grammar policed to your disdain: you’re welcome.
What shouldn’t you do on Facebook? Pictures of yourself vomiting out a car window, swearing profusely, putting “Smoking Trees” in your interests or posting a link to your Craigslist “casual encounters” listing.
An option posed by thepromoverse.com in “Employers Screening Facebook Profiles: Do’s and Don’ts of What You Post” is to create two separate profiles. One would be professional. Otherwise, privatize the majority of your current one – especially photos.
With all the caution surrounding social site use, some may decide to nix social media all together. Don’t do this. Not only won’t you be able to fan Rachel Responds, but employers will worry you don’t know your way around those sites.
Social Media is listed as one of five skills in “Do you have the tech skills employers want?” by thedegree360.onlinedegrees.com.
Jobs that benefit from the use of social media want applicants who can use these sites. Without a profile on these sites employers may dismiss you.
If you’re not applying for jobs that use social media you should still have a profile.
“First off, it’s important that you have profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t, you won’t seem as relevant and companies might think that you’re hiding something,” according to the Time article.
When Rachel Responds’ fans were posed with the question, “What would an employer say if they read your Facebook right now?” Casey Doten said, “Well, he definitely doesn’t lack personality. Could be a wild card.”
Although Facebook and Twitter etiquette is necessary, Doten touches on an important point.
Using social media is a type of personal advertisement. According to “5 Clever Ways to get a Job Using Social Media” by Dan Schawbel on Mashable.com, using these sites as a virtual resume is highly effective.
Your profile should showcase your personality, especially for those applying for jobs in the creative field.
According to the Time article, employers like to get a feel for how a candidate will get along with the team by gaining information about their personality from their profile.
So Doten’s “Wild Card Personality” may very well land him a job.
Facebook and Twitter need to be managed for possible search but the most important profile to have in the job search is a LinkedIn account. This is a social site with networking purposes for business professionals.
UW-River Falls Career Counselor Caitlyn Perszyk said in a LinkedIn Presentation that it’s important to not just have a profile but actually use the profile.
Spend some time entering your information into the site, adding your resume and creating your headline. Join professional groups and comment with your thoughts. Employers like to see that you are well-rounded.
To get started correcting, or checking, your social media behavior visit website www.reppler.com.
Create an account and log into all of your social media sites. The website will scan your personal sites, score you and give you an easy way to edit or delete offensive content.
In the future when you get a hankering to post something offensive – such as your pong championship – remember to do so with grammatical correctness. Or better yet, don’t do it at all.
Rachel Woodman is a senior majoring in marketing communications and minoring in journalism. She loves to work hard, play hard, and use clichés! Look for her Facebook page “Rachel Responds” and email her your questions or topic ideas to QuestionsForRachel@live.com.