Social Media Your Real Life Resume
Hi, I’m Jack Dunigan of thepracticalleader.com. Have you ever wondered what you can do to excel at your job interview? Well in this week’s episode we’re going to talk about social media, your real-life resume. You say certain things on the paper, but do you know what they’re looking for when they go online before they ever call you for a job interview?
I get this question often. Will companies really take the time to look? Actually, a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management says that 84% of employers recruit via social media, they look around on social media. I’m assuming LinkedIn, they were not specific as to which one, but I’m assuming LinkedIn. But also Facebook and probably Twitter.
And they recruit, they look there, they look there for people that might be a great fit for the job openings that they have. That’s why when I began this video today I said this is your real-life resume online. You thought it was a place to be social; it is a place to be very professional when you’re looking for a job and after you have a job if you want to keep that job and progress in that job.
Also, 43% of employers screen job candidates through social networks and search engines, and we’re going to talk about some of the things they look for here. We realize they can help you or not. There are some pretty sad stories out there about job searches that were hindered because of social media. In the same study they said that 36% of companies have actually disqualified job candidates after doing an online search or viewing an applicant’s social media.
So let’s take a look and see what it is that employers are looking for.
Number one. They’re looking for support for the claims you made on your resume. So if you said “I went to this school, I have this degree,” don’t be surprised if they go to your Facebook account and look under the about page for you and see if you have listed those degrees and those certifications there, because they want to see what you set on paper, if it is really out there in real life. So just make sure that there is consistency between what you say on your resume and what you say on your social media accounts.
Then they are looking for professionalism. They want to see how you handle yourself online, what you do with those who may troll you, how do you handle certain social situations, how do you handle certain situations of interaction in your own life, what you do in your spare time. I know, I know it’s really none of their business, but that doesn’t stop them from looking and it doesn’t stop them from getting some impression about you. Remember last week? We talked about how to make a good first impression and you have 10 seconds when you walk into someone’s office to make a good impression, well that first impression is now starting well before they ever see you face-to-face, looking for professionalism online.
They want to know what’s being said about you by other people through social media, what are they tweeting about you. They’re going to look, you can look so you can find out the same thing that they are, they’re not pulling any surprises, they don’t have any deep dark secrets where they dig around with special access to things that you don’t have. They’re going to see the same thing that you can see and I’m going to show you pretty soon what you can do to fix all that. So they want to know what’s being said about you and unfortunately they’re looking for a reason not to hire you.
Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression that these always negative grinches are sitting out there looking for people they don’t want to like, just realize that they usually get a large number of applicants and they have to winnow out those applications some way. And if they see certain things that look like is not going to be a good fit for their company they can easily say well I don’t even need to interview this person.
So CareerBuilder lists 11 things that can be a problem for you in your social media accounts. So let’s look at them quickly one by one.
Number 1. Provocative or inappropriate posts or information. So before you troll somebody, before you flame somebody, before you say something that you probably wouldn’t want to say in the presence of your grandmother, then you probably ought not to do it, especially if you are looking for a job or looking to grow in your career.
Number 2. Evidence of drinking or using drugs. This has got to be the number one stupid thing somebody can do on social media, is to post a picture of them getting smashed somewhere or shooting up. I mean that’s got to be really, really dumb. And so if you do that and post pictures about it don’t be surprised if you get a message or a call from somebody other than the job that you’re looking at. Don’t be surprised.
Number 3. Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion. It’s the world we live in, and it’s the nice thing to do to be indiscriminate in this. You don’t want to come across as a bigot in any way. You don’t want to come across as being intolerant. You don’t want to come across as being a mean-spirited person. You don’t want to come across as being antagonistic towards any group. Employers are not wanting to hire people that are going to cause them problems, so don’t give them reason to suggest that you might cause them problems. And certainly you don’t want to get crossways, especially in the United States and in other Western countries particularly, I can’t say for everywhere, but in other countries you have to be very careful about this, because there’s always the problem that gets human resources involved, it gets the courts involved, you don’t want to do that. So don’t post those things, and if you got them online you need to get rid of them.
Number 4. Bad mouthing your previous company or fellow employees. Now there’s a real dumb thing to do. So, maybe you had a bad experience somewhere, or maybe you’re working somewhere now and you’re not getting along with somebody. Do not vent online, do not vent online, just don’t do it.
Number 5. Lying about your qualifications. Remember I said earlier, they want to see if there’s consistency. Well, this is verified not only in that survey but also in Career Builder who said in their analysis of what employers are looking for that they want to see consistency between what you said on your resume and what it is that you actually say in your social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Facebook on the about pages to make sure that you are not lying about your qualifications
Number 6. Poor communication skills. They want to know how well you can communicate, and they’ll look at your social media accounts to see how well you write, how well you express yourself, how well you are able to handle people who ask questions of you, that sort of thing. They’re looking for that.
Number 7. Links to criminal behavior. I hope you haven’t done this, if you have then forget the job search thing. You’re probably going to be the guest of your government at some point in an institution that’s well-maintained and very secure. So you don’t want to post that.
Number 8. Sharing confidential information from previous employers. That’s just indiscretion, that’s unprofessional, you don’t want to do that.
Number 9. Unprofessional screen name or handle. It’s interesting, when we do mock interviews, we go to universities here and we work with their graduating classes if they’re going out to work, particularly with a medical facility that graduates a lot of therapists, occupational therapist, physical therapist, sonogram technicians and things like that. So we go out to them and we look at their resume, and I always look at their email address, and if they have their Facebook or Twitter accounts. I always look to see if it’s not something like firstname.lastname@example.org. You want to have something that sounds professional, because you are a professional. So if you’ve got that, make a change, switch that out and get something that’s more appropriate for the professional that you are and that you claim to be.
Number 10. Where you’ve lied about an absence. This is good, where you’ve called into work and you said I’m sick, I’m dying with the flu and then as soon as the phone hangs up your out the door because you’re heading for a day of recreation at the beach somewhere. You’ve lied about why you were gone and then you were dumb enough to post pictures of the beach and say: “Ah, my boss thinks I’m sick but I’m here at the beach!” This is going to come back to bite you, so you don’t want to do it.
Number 11. You posted too frequently. If you look at some of my earlier videos I talk about finding balance in life and the story of a friend of mine that had trouble staying in the middle of the road, his wife did when she was driving. I talk about having a ditch on either side of the road. You can post too frequently which means you’ve got nothing better to do than to sit around and post all the time on Twitter, or Facebook, or LinkedIn, or Pinterest, or any Instagram, or one of those. But you can also post too infrequently. You don’t want to be absent from social media. It looks like you’re not engaged, it looks like you’re not modern, it looks like you’re not up-to-date. But they look for somebody’s posting way, way, way too often, in particularly silly things like you’re building a city, and you know how these games do online. It’s okay to have those, not good to have too many of those. Next week we’re going to talk about the things that you can do to keep your job search afloat in your social media accounts. I’ll show you how to clean things up, show you what to look for and show you how to really, really shine on social media, your real online resume. We’ll see you next week.