Guest post: The Top 5 Social Media Blunders Made by Job Applicants

There is no doubt that recruiters are going to check out your social media profiles during your next job search, but do you know what their red flags are? Contrary to what you might think, signs of an active social life are not frowned upon, as long as you show some level of seriousness. However, you could be putting your job hunt in jeopardy by going overboard in several different areas. Here are the top five blunders being made by job applicants these days.

  1.  Failing to show any type of personality. While definition of “personality” can have several different interpretations, it’s safe to say that people unafraid to express themselves and stand by their beliefs will often attract recruiters looking to fill a position. Facebook profiles without much material could keep recruiters guessing, and in a negative way. They could wonder why you are holding back so much. Social media are chiefly tools of a social life, so don’t be afraid to show that you have one. After all, you don’t want a future boss to be concerned you’ll have nothing to say during a business trip or company cocktail hour.
  2. Showing only the side of you that likes to drink and dance. Are you in the middle of keg stands in half of your Facebook pictures? Do most of your Tweets revolve around the latest swimsuit issue? If so, you could presenting yourself as one-dimensional to employers. Try to mix in some semblance of your intelligent, serious side, whether it be a copy of your best report or an award you won in the field. Recruiters expect to see some personality, as long as not every piece of evidence suggests you’re merely a party animal who needs to fund an upcoming vacation to Daytona.
  3. Forgetting about the power of social media filters. Just because you have something on Facebook doesn’t mean you have to let every visitor see it. Use the filters to your advantage, keeping the wilder items available for your friends’ viewing pleasure and keeping the more enriching material on view for all. Veering too far in the direction of either too squeaky clean or too crazy is not recommended, but you should make the filters reveal a person who can operate in several different arenas, including the social and professional.
  4. Not pleading your case on LinkedIn. If there were one bona fide professional social media platform, it would be LinkedIn. You can use this site to present your best case to any recruiter who may be on the hunt for candidates. List your specialties, show skills learned (both in university and on the job), post your resume and highlight any achievements under your belt. This spot is perfect for making your case during a job search.
  5. Neglecting the technology at your disposal. Since all of these sites can accommodate flashy techniques in resume-building and overall presentation, you should use the modern tools at your disposal. Use graphics to make a resume look unique in the field, or simply design your home page with the personality and originality you plan to bring to your next job. Recruiters will see this inventiveness and ingenuity and make a mental note when they are on the hunt for quality candidates. If you’re going to put your profile out there, it should be interesting and unique.

Since recruiters are going to check your social media profiles, you might as well use them to your advantage. Let your personality shine through, but don’t go overboard: if you’re going to show your wild side, put your professional ability on display as well.

About the Author:

This article was written by Jonathan Goldman who covers social recruiting topics on behalf of the Match Relevant IT Staffing Agency.