How to Get Hired Based on Your Social Media Presence


Your application was submitted without a hitch. Your cover letter and CV were flawless. Your interview couldn’t have gone any better. Nothing should be standing in the way of getting hired, right?

While you may look like the perfect candidate on paper and in person, your online presence may be telling employers a different story, and that could cause them to pass you over for employment.

According to a new survey, 49 per cent of employers have researched job candidates on social media. Of those who have researched candidates, 30 per cent have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate.

On the other hand, a strong social media profile can sway an employer in a job seeker’s favor. Thirty-two per cent of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they’ve found content that led them to hire a job seeker.

Here are some of the reasons why employers say they hired a candidate based on their social media presence, and what that means for you in your search.

Reason why: Job candidate was well-rounded (44 per cent).

What this means for you: Employers appreciate candidates who have a variety of interests, because it shows that they will be up for any type of challenge. So be sure to update your profiles to include a list of all of your activities and interests – from volunteering for a children’s charity to your love for travel.

Reason why: Job candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job (43 per cent).

What this means for you: When you’re updating your CV with your new skills and accomplishments, don’t forget to update your social networking profiles as well. Employers want to make sure what you tell them matches up with what you’ve actually achieved.

Reason why: Job candidate was creative (41 per cent).

What this means for you: There isn’t always room for creativity when it comes to your application materials, so be sure to find ways to express your originality online. One way? Create an online portfolio or personal website that you direct employers to on your materials so they can see your creativity in action. 

Reason why: Other people posted great references (40 per cent).

What this means for you: Employers may ask you for references, but they’re also looking online to see what others are saying about you. Be more proactive about writing strong recommendations on social media for your colleagues and industry peers, and they’ll be more likely to write a positive reference for you.

Reason why: Job candidate’s site conveyed a professional image (35 per cent).

What this means for you: If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you need to come across as one online. While that doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself, have fun, and post personal pictures and comments, just view all of your postings through the eyes of an employer. If you think it might come across as questionable, don’t post it.

Reason why: Job candidate had interacted with my company’s social media accounts (22 per cent).

What this means for you: Employers are researching you on social media, so you should be researching them as well. Find out which social media accounts the company has and join, follow or like their pages. When interacting with their accounts, go for quality over quantity – if you comment on one of their posts, for instance, make sure it’s meaningful and portrays you as a professional.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only resources employers are using to evaluate candidates’ online presences. Forty-three per cent of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, and 12 per cent plan to start.

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