Keeping your Social Media Profiles Employer-Friendly

May 4, 2015

Are employers checking your social media profiles?  Yes!  It is said that 93% of recruiters check a candidate’s social media profile as part of their screening process, and don’t think your current employer isn’t watching too.  With social media becoming engrained into our daily lives, it is easy to get caught up in the fun of it.  From the growing selfie stick phenomenon to people tagging you in unprofessional pictures, it can be a bit of a chore keeping your profiles employer-friendly.  It is, of course, your prerogative to post what you wish online. However, the fact remains that your employer or potential employer is likely checking your profile(s). So what are some guidelines to ensure your social media presence is employer-friendly?

  1. When changing your profile picture, assume that potential employer’s will be checking this.  If you are questioning whether your picture is pushing the limits of professionalism or not, odds are you should put something else up.   When it comes to LinkedIn in particular, your profile picture should mimic a corporate headshot and, depending on your industry, be taken in business professional wear.  It is surprising how many selfies make their way onto professional platforms such as LinkedIn.
  2. Make it a habit to revisit your privacy settings.  Social media platforms are constantly changing their privacy settings and are often making it easier for outsiders to get a preview of your personal life.
  3. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; however, it is a best practice not to post anything you wouldn’t want your employer or potential employer to read. Do not mention anything negative about your employer or the clients you are working with.  Also refrain from commenting on topics that could make you appear to be a risky hire.  These topics can range from discussing excessive drinking to posting offensive jokes.  While not commenting on these topics may come across as common sense, this mistake is surprisingly common.
  4. Do a Google search of your name and see what others can see.  You may be surprised to find out what photos of you are floating around.
  5. It is a good idea to engage in industry related discussions and sharing information that your career network will value.  You may even want to dedicate one of your social media profiles strictly for industry related content.  This will allow you to build your own personal brand and recruitment teams loves this!
  6. Always double check anything you post for grammar and spelling errors.  If you make an error, odds are recruitment teams will notice.
  7. Not only are recruitment teams checking your profile, your current employer may be doing the same.  Be careful not to post personal content during work hours or even when calling in sick.

Overall, a little bit of common sense coupled with awareness of common social media blunders should keep you safe.  Remember, it is all about building your personal brand and this now applies to online as well as offline. By: Jen Narayan