Initially our activities on social media did not impact on our formal or working lives.
The messages we sent, the images we posted, and the information we made available about ourselves, was restricted to our friends and families.
Now, however, the distinction between our friends and family, and our more formal working lives, are blurring.
More and more the information available on social media platforms: such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked in; is used to assess and evaluate our suitability for employment.
Research carried out by Monster.co.uk and YouGov has revealed that more than a third (36%) of UK employers have turned down a candidate based on their social media profiles.
A further 56% of UK HR professionals take into account a candidate’s online reputation, when deciding to hire them, and 65% will google a candidate during the hiring process.
This recent research highlights the added pressure there is to manage our online social media profiles.
Yet, the blurring between our formal and informal networks also brings with it a lot of opportunities.
Andy Summer, managing director for Monster UK & Ireland, says: “Many people focus on the potential negatives of social media when it comes to job applications. While it’s important to manage your profile and think about privacy settings to ensure you’re not oversharing holiday snaps; we should remember that social media can also be a powerful tool to build a personal brand and make a candidate attractive to an employer.”
Using social media to make us more attractive to an employer is about shifting the focus from hiding information we don’t want others to see, to actively emphasising and posting information that shows us in our best light.
Three things you can do to make your social media content attractive to employers:
1. Understand the values of the companies you would like to work for. Make sure images on your profile as well as written information reflect similar values
2. Make it easy for potential employers to engage with your work; this may include links to blogs, or websites that show a portfolio of your work
3. Make it easy for employers to see the hobbies you enjoy and are passionate about: give people a rounded picture of yourself
From now on when we use social media, we must think in terms of positive opportunity: with a formal audience evaluating the information we put online, here is a potential means of making it more likely we secure the job, or work, that we would like.
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