Today’s post is by KiteDesk CEO Sean Burke.
The level to which you choose to be public, private, and everything in between on your social networks has a substantial impact on employability. For those seeking their next lucrative career opportunity, it’s challenging to decide what to reveal in your public social spaces.
In no space is that more relevant than in sales, where talent acquisition is more competitive and fluid than ever before. Hiring managers now use candidates’ social footprints as one of the first steps in the hiring process – and they may be using it as much to weed out potential employees as they are to include them.
So how exactly are hiring managers considering social profiles and participation as they hire? Internet citizens looking to score a dream gig want to be sensitive to what recruiters are thinking as they consider a new hire.
What Managers Look At
A whopping 93 percent of hiring managers look at a candidate’s social presence before making a hiring decision! CareerBuilder reports that one-half of employers said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate – up from 34 percent in 2012. Managers are studying your suitability for a sales role from a culture fit standpoint.They’re interested in your personality because they want to know if you will be a good fit with the rest of the team.
Here’s what hiring managers are likely to view favorably:
- High number of overall contacts and connections
- Active and current posts across various networks
- Recommendations from colleagues and supervisors
- Synergy – similar connections to the company and the industry
- Obvious willingness to engage, and ability to get others to engage
- Well-rounded, wide range of interests
- Volunteering or charitable connections are a plus
Here’s what won’t work in your favor:
- Illegal activity references (and/or sexual escapades and obvious drug use)
- Inappropriate photographs
- Negative comments about a company or team member
- Poor spelling and grammar
- Political or religious rants/diatribes or proselytism
By all means, don’t forget to be interesting! Express in detail what you want in a career; wishy-washy candidates are rarely appealing. If you don’t dare to reveal what you’re looking for, you’ll be passed up completely.
Experience and knowledge of the position are obviously also key, but so is a clear representation of balanced interests. In other words, one-dimensional profiles are far less appealing than those that show a “real” person.
Keep It Current
Stay current with social data. Don’t include your high school experience on your profiles if you are a mid-level job seeker. Still touting older accomplishments? Managers may assume you haven’t achieved much in recent years and that you lack ambition and drive.
Nobody achieves success as a lone wolf – we all have help along the way. Be mindful of the number of instances of I vs. We as you list your accomplishments. In other words, resist narcissism – give credit to those who deserve it. Managers weary of hiring a very me-focused social profiler.
Follow and engage with the social presence of all companies you are considering for employment. It’s this kind of initiative that separates less-appealing recruits from the full-on must-haves.
Rookie Mistakes on Social
Here are the most common gaps you should definitely avoid:
- No professional, polished photos as your avatars
- Profiles that are self centered and self serving
- Flat, generic profiles that don’t tell a story or build a portrait
- No recommendations from coworkers, supervisors, or customers
- Interests that don’t match the position or industry you’re considering
- Profiles that are either too aggressive about employment or too passive
Stay vigilant. Pay attention to privacy updates on all of your social networking accounts. Know that managers will use public information to spot both stars and loose cannons.
Sales is a highly competitive landscape, and learning to present oneself skillfully on social platforms is paramount for career success.