The top 10 checks recruiters will make on you using social media!

By: Yasmine Shaban

Is it any real surprise to learn that the recruitment industry has tapped into social media as a valuable source of information about candidates? It’s well known that social media and online networking can help you make inroads into companies that interest you, so it’s obvious that it will work both ways.

Recruiters (and employers) are, increasingly, turning to social media to screen potential employees, so here’s our top 10 of social media checks that are likely to be made on you:

1. LinkedIn has to be the primary source of information regarding you as a professional. Far more professionals have a LinkedIn profile than not nowadays, and lack of a profile is likely to suggest that you have little interest in furthering your career. So if you’re one of the minority out there, be warned!

2. Assuming you have a LinkedIn profile, a recruiter is likely to scour it carefully, cross-referencing against your CV to ensure all the facts are consistent. Any discrepancies will raise questions and doubts. And spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will lose further credibility.

3. Do you fully utilise LinkedIn? Being a member of industry groups will demonstrate a commitment to, and interest in, your field of work. Recruiters want to know if you are knowledgeable about your profession.

4. Looking at your contacts can also be a good source. If the recruiter knows one of the contacts in your professional network it’s likely that they will get in touch to find out what you’re like.

5. Facebook may be a social site, but don’t think for one moment that recruiters won’t try and find you. Unlike LinkedIn though, lack of presence on Facebook is not viewed as a negative; it could be that your privacy settings block anyone seeing your page outside of connected friends.

6. If your Facebook account is public, recruiters will be able to get a sense of you as a person. Bad language, references to drink, drugs and the like will immediately create a particular picture that won’t be favourable. Similarly, negative comments about your current job or colleagues will also be frowned on.

7. That said, Facebook can also produce positive impressions. If you post news of your volunteering or fundraising efforts for charity, or you take part in particular activities that you haven’t mentioned in your CV, this will all add to your positive personal qualities.

8. Twitter activity needs a little more analysis, but is a way in which recruiters may seek to understand how you think and what you feel about the world and your industry.

9. A more scattergun approach is to do a general Google search to see what results come up. Obviously, this will show your social media pages, but it could also direct recruiters to other sources of information, for instance articles that you’ve written for an industry publication (and you’d be mad to not mention such achievements on LinkedIn) or newspaper articles about your work with a local charity.

10. When are you on social media sites? With all these social media channels recruiters will also be looking at when you are updating information. If half your working day can be spent posting on Facebook it will look as though you are not interested in working. That said, a pertinent Tweet or two during the day might suggest that you are someone who is closely following developments in a particular topic that affects your sector.

When it comes to moving jobs, social media is something of a double-edged sword: it’s great if you use it proactively and it can act as positive PR for you, but half-hearted engagement won’t and nor will indiscreet boasts about your personal life. So if you want to make a favourable impression before you get anywhere near an interview situation, your efforts should start in front of your computer, on your smartphone or tablet.

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