Personal and professional used to be miles apart, remember those days? But like that annoying friend who thinks they can play the part of matchmaker, social media has thrust them together whether they like it or not.
On a daily basis we are forced to make decisions that have never had to be made since the creation of the universe- should I accept my boss’ friend request? What if my colleagues find out I’m applying for that other job on Twitter? Should I untag myself from those ‘interesting’ holiday snaps?
Before you know it, we’re thinking six moves ahead like we’re playing a game of social chess. This mastermind logic, usually reserved for physicists and mathematicians, is now plaguing millions of people across the world as they seek to present a good, wholesome image of themselves, online, to multiple sectors of their lives at the same time.
All this presents a big challenge when it comes to recruitment. Why would employers purely rely on your job application form and an awkward, formal interview when a quick Facebook search shows what you’re really like? It happens every day, and in a world where it is extremely difficult to secure employment, it may be the one thing that’s holding you back.
Don’t just think that businesses swarm around LinkedIn. While it is the best place to network with other professionals in a more formal environment, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly being used to track down and check up on potential job candidates.
In ‘real life’, when you leave the office, you leave the office, but social media stays connected around the clock and around the globe. So here are some top tips for giving you the edge when it comes to recruitment.
- Check your privacy settings – don’t leave your accounts open for the world to see. Spend some time working out who can see different parts of your online identity and be aware of potential employers checking you out.
- Plan for your privacy settings to fail – keep in the back of your mind the possibility that all privacy settings may fail at any time, your account may get hacked, or your phone stolen. If you’d be uncomfortable with a stranger seeing some of your posts, it’s probably best not to post them. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
- Set up a LinkedIn profile – if you’re serious about employers seeing you as a ‘good catch’ online, set up a profile on LinkedIn. Be proud of your education and professional achievements and showcase it to the world! Use it to find jobs that may interest you too!
- Google yourself! – Don’t do this too often, but if you want to see what others see, do a quick search of yourself. Look for information that is inaccurate, inappropriate and out of date. Track down the offending profiles and straighten them out a little.
Have you ever secured a job purely through social media? Let us know!