Picture this scenario: you’re preparing yourself for the job interview you have for a production or business firm. You are dressed to impress in a pair of slacks and matching dress shirt. On the way to the interview, you are confident, knowing that you have all of the necessary tools to sell yourself. You’ve built experience over the past number of years and now you’re ready to show the interviewer every last shred of evidence that you’re made for the job.
Only moments before you head into the interviewer’s office do you say to yourself, “Wait, my Facebook…”
It might seem hard to believe but there have been a number of cases where promising prospects were turned away from what could have been their dream jobs for the reason of social media done poorly. Social media is a powerful tool and one of the many reasons for this is because it can offer a window into the life of just about anyone, for better or worse. As much as you want to make the best impression, sometimes unflattering pictures or unprofessional tweets can get in the way. If you’re heavy into the social media world and you want to make the most out of your job interview, follow the tips below.
5 Social Media Tips for Job Interviews
1. When creating posts, make sure that you conduct yourself accordingly
Even though you may have friends and family members that lack a certain filter on Facebook, Twitter or what have you, this does not mean that you have to follow suit. This is especially true if the business you’re looking to work for is heavily integrated into the digital world, which is slowly but surely becoming the case for all companies. With this in mind, make sure that you create posts which appear clean and do little to insult certain parties. If you’d like to offer criticism for a story in the news and post it on your Facebook wall, this is fine as long as the post itself does not come across as an unfiltered rant. The better you conduct yourself on a textual basis, the better your chances at higher employment will become.
2. Post pictures that do not come across as unflattering
One of the best examples that I can give on this matter is Bonifacius Steuer, who looked as though he would become the future Pope back in early March of last year. This was not meant to be, though, as his Facebook photo album entitled “Tampa Phun” came to the surface. With pictures of him acting in ways unbecoming of the Pope, it was no surprise that he was turned away. In order to prevent yourself from becoming the next Steuer of sorts, filter your social media albums so that pictures of this nature are no longer visible. If you would prefer to block these images instead of taking them down entirely, this is fine but you are generally better off not showcasing said images at all.
3. Do not become too personal
While this step may connect to the previous two in certain ways, I feel as though there are aspects in one’s personal life that can be brought out for the public to see, even if they weren’t meant to be offensive. For instance, it’s easy for someone who had just broken up with their significant other to take to social networking in order to air their sadness. While an understandable circumstance, what will an employer think upon seeing continuous messages about a situation that no one but the parties involved should have a say in? If I were an interviewer, my first impression would be that this individual has trouble separating professional and personal matters, which wouldn’t make them the best candidate for the position. Compartmentalize the two matters; it will look better on you.
4. In order to keep track of your resume, LinkedIn is ideal
While Facebook offers a function that will allow you to list the jobs that you’ve had, I’m of the opinion that LinkedIn is better because it allows much more detail on the matter. Not only will you be able to create a resume – with job history, education, and all – but it’s a useful site for people to back up your claims as well. One of the functions of LinkedIn that any online marketing firm can draw attention to is the endorsement feature. For every skill that you cite, individuals can attest to whether or not you possess said skill, which looks better on you if you’re honest. If you won’t use LinkedIn for any other reason, utilize it for greater job opportunities.
5. Stay in contact with your peers through social media
When you think about the usage of social media in the long term, “connections” should be one of the first terms that come to mind. For example, let’s say that you form a group of friends during college, each of you possessing the desire to get into a similar field. You will most likely talk about the developments in the field in question and go on to pursue it following graduation. Until you see how well these connections you’ve made in the past can help you over the course of time, it’s hard to attest to just how important these are. Even if you are the type of person who prefers staying within their shell, coming out of it from time to time can prove to be in your best interest.
Do you know any other social media tips for job interviews?
See also: Find Your Career With Social Media