You’re graduating soon and are on a quest for that dream job. Or, maybe you’re in a job, but seeking to climb up another rung of the ladder.
With a letter-perfect résumé and well-written cover letter prepared to email to a prospective employer, you hit “send.”
You might think you just made a slam dunk, and that it’s just a matter of time before you start receiving calls from enthusiastic hiring managers. After all, you believe you’re the best fit for the job.
Maybe so. But with your name in hand, they promptly check out your social media—that place where you post photos of you, your pets, your friends and your family; the place where you share vacation photos, memes, platitudes, gripes—basically where you bare your soul on a variety of levels.
Since the majority of hiring managers are checking social media these days, it makes sense to take your social media habits seriously. Before an interview can happen, they want to know as much as they can about a prospective employee, warts and all.
According to Rebecca Dhanarine, director of The Anderson University Center for Career Development, applicants should make sure their social media accounts are free from anything that might be a red flag for potential employers. For the center’s own hires, Dhanarine follows the same advice that she and her colleagues at the Center for Career Development share with students who are seeking jobs.
“We’re searching Instagram, Facebook, Twitter—we’re looking to see, especially for AU—if they’re a good mission fit, then to make sure this person doesn’t post things showing they’re making a bad choice and judgment, which is very important,” Dhanarine said.
An applicant’s social media posting says a lot about their life priorities—negative or positive—and things they’re passionate about.
“You see volunteer work that they’ve done and you see some of the positives that can be value-added for the organization,” she said, adding that sharing knowledge through blogs and posts that align with their professional interests are a plus.
Dhanarine urges job seekers to enlist someone they trust to look over their social media.
“If they can find a mentor in their field, a mentor that’s a true leader—that’s very beneficial because it will help coach them along the way. There’s a lot of things that—even in your career—you still learn, whether you’re fresh out of college or you’ve been in that field for some time, you can always learn from someone who has more experience than you,” Dhanarine said.
She adds it’s important for anyone using social media to be discerning about whether a particular kind of post is appropriate for the platform; for example, keeping their LinkedIn profile focused on their professional selves and using that more for networking and engaging with colleagues. Above all, Dhanarine stresses that, just as important as it is with their résumé, information in their profile should be truthful and accurate.
She also stresses that applicants should learn as much as they can about companies or organizations where they are applying by checking out their social media pages and website.
The Anderson University Center for Career Development regularly posts tips for job seekers, including job postings and videos on its LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media accounts.
The mission of Anderson University Center for Career Development is to connect students with opportunities to explore career paths and develop marketable career readiness competencies that allow them to optimize their knowledge and skills toward the development of their God-given potential.