Josephine's Personnel Services, Inc.

Image is Everything: Social Media and the Job Hunt

May 10th, 2012

You know what they say: Image is everything.

You got the degree, the experience, and the motivation to move forward and establish your career.

You hit a home run on the resume and even dazzled prospective employers at the interview. They’re ready to hire you to represent their company.

Then they Google your name and the first picture that pops up is you doing an Ultimate Beer Funnel challenge.

Clearly, despite all of your preparation and experience, you are not ready to be an employee at XYZ, Inc. Or at least that’s what the executive who wanted to hire you thinks now.

Social media has really revolutionized the way we interact with one another and nothing is all that private anymore.

Here are some tips on how to avoid a social media-induced disaster when it comes to landing and sticking to that job you want.

  1. Make sure all of your privacy settings are up and updated regularly. This is pretty simple and it can keep some photos of you from being found. It may also be wise to set your settings to where you need to approve a picture’s tag before it appears on your wall or timeline. And check those setting regularly! There have been times when a sites updates have wiped out certain settings you thought you had all along.
  2. A good rule of thumb? Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see. Think about those disapproving looks parents give when you do something a bit extreme. Now apply that to some of the things you may write online.
  3. Assume you can be found even with the best of security settings. I don’t think anyone expects you to live like a saint, but if you’re on the kitchen floor and clearly hanging on for dear life, you’ve gone a bit far.
  4. Don’t be afraid to direct employers to the professional networking sites. LinkedIn has become a great resource to show off your professional side. Posting links to things relevant in your field also makes you look knowledgeable beyond the classroom.
  5. They notice how you type and they remember it. This goes for how you spell words and how you use those words. Vulgar language is bad. What’s worse is if you misspell said vulgar language. Remember that how you type in the social sphere says how you might use language in public, and as a representative of the company.

Just remember, the things you write online are there for the world to see. Even if you have your privacy settings on total lockdown, just remember that there is someone who can take a screen snap shot and then link your name to that.

For more information, contact Josephine’s Professional Staffing to get more tips on how to deal with social media do’s and don’ts when looking for work.

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