Social Media Profiles and the Interview

A Reference for Interviewers and Interviewees

Tweeting, sharing, posting, tagging. If you’re like most Americans today, chances are these small behaviors make up a large part of your Internet time. Social media has become an influential and pivotal part of everyday life. It is helping people stay connected in ways never before thought of. It’s helping people share ideas, find new companies to support and, well, it’s also helping people to research other people.

More and more hiring managers are using the power of Google (or other search engines) to find out about potential candidates. The same goes for the flip side, as well, as many job seekers are turning to social media to research the company, its manager and potential hiring managers who will be conducting the interview.

Sounds like a convenient little tool, right? Right. It’s also potentially detrimental, especially to the job seeker. According to CareerBuilder, 43% of hiring managers have taken a candidate out of the running for a job due to social media. Here are the top reasons:

  • Inappropriate photos

○      Racy photos

○      Photos of drug use, abuse of a person or animal, or any other illegal activity

  • Posts or tweets about drinking or drug use
  • Speaking poorly against previous employers
  • Poor communication (think grammar and spelling)
  • Bigotry
  • Lying about qualifications

You may be lucky, though, especially if you’re social-media self is as professional and qualified as your interview self. Here are some tips for your public social media profiles during the job-seeking process:

  • Keep your profile pictures tasteful
  • Fill out your personal information in a professional or tasteful manner
  • Show support to things you love which would also be interesting to a hiring manager
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Update your professional qualifications

Having at least one public profile is a great way to show off your skills, some of your hobbies and your achievements. In addition, it’s a great way to give interviewers a little taste of who you are prior to the interview which can help break the ice and offer a bit of help if the interviewer likes what she sees on your profile.

However, like many of us, social media can get out of hand and you may use it more for connecting with people who share the same out-of-work hobbies as you. If you have items on a social media account that you think may be seen as offensive by anyone, adjust your privacy settings. Once it’s been seen by the hiring manager, chances are it will be difficult for them to unsee during the interview.

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