Want to Land the Job? Don’t Commit These 3 Social Media Mistakes

Want to Land the Job? Don’t Commit These 3 Social Media Mistakes


By Chris Bigelow

Whenever you submit a resume, you have about an 80 percent chance of being Googled by the employer. These days, most human resources departments use Google to help them decide who to interview for open positions.

When a prospective employer Googles you, what will they find online about you? Much of it is your social media activity—or lack of activity. Here’s an overview of mistakes to avoid if you want a better career.

Mistake #1: Not keeping tabs on your online reputation

Whether you’re looking for a new job right now or not, you should regularly Google yourself and see what comes up. Pretend you’re a prospective employer. Examine the Google search results as if you were trying to decide whether to interview yourself for a job.

You need to keep current on what’s going on out there with your name! Is the right kind of stuff showing up about you? What if someone else with your exact name is posting beer bong pictures on Facebook? If so, you can switch to a cleaner version of your name. For example, you can add your middle initial.

Many online resources can help you make sure that what shows up in Google’s search results is employer-friendly. If you need help repairing or improving your online reputation, there are tips for that, too,

Mistake #2: No online proof of your resume claims

Your resume highlights your professional activities and accomplishments. When an employer Googles you, does evidence of your work come up online? It should!

Some people think the less that comes up about them on Google, the better. According to employment expert Susan P. Joyce, “Do not be happy if they find nothing about you on Google! That means either of two things to most employers—you don’t know how the world works today (so you are out-of-date) or you are hiding something. Neither of those two impressions will help you in your job search.”

One of the best ways to reinforce your resume online is to create an effective LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile may very well show up on the first page of a Google search on your name. Business Insider provides some helpful advice.

It’s also a good idea to talk about your work in positive, professional terms on Facebook, your blog, and other social media platforms. If you’re currently working on your college degree, that counts as work too! Impress prospective employers by posting on the following:

  • Your excitement about work or study
  • How you’re overcoming obstacles
  • New things you’re learning
  • How your efforts are paying off for the company and for you personally
  • How satisfying and rewarding your work or study is

Of course, when you post about your work, you need to be careful not to violate your employer’s privacy. Use careful judgment about how much detail you provide on coworkers, bosses, proprietary projects, sensitive information, etc. Be sure that you understand your employer’s policies on social media use.

Mistake #3: Putting dumb stuff on social media

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people forget it! Remember, employers can deep-dive into your social media to find out about your personality, your attitudes, your work ethic, your attention to detail, and much more.

You’re probably smart enough not to post a deal-killer photo of yourself on Facebook. However, do your posts and comments reveal a pattern of negativity, complaining, flakiness, mockery, bigotry, extreme views, laziness, or other undesirable attributes?

If one of your friends posts something crude or offensive on your page, it can reflect poorly on you. Delete those! You may even need to unfriend repeat offenders.

If your posts and comments have bad grammar, spelling, or punctuation, that makes you look bad, too. Take a little extra time to edit your posts!

For more help on avoiding less obvious social media mistakes, check out this blog.

Build your reputation at Stevens-Henager College

One of the best ways to enhance your online reputation is to get your degree and post positively about your experience.

Stevens-Henager College offers a variety of degree programs in many of today’s growing career fields, such as healthcare, business, information technology, and graphic design.

To learn more, call 1-800-622-2640 or visit http://www.stevenshenager.edu/ today.

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