Nearly eighty percent of employers Google applicants before they decide to interview them, and that number will only rise with each passing year. Interviewing candidates can be an expensive and time-consuming process, and internet searches help hiring teams narrow down their candidate pool and conserve resources.
“Google yourself regularly. Others tag you and comment about you; you want to stay informed and oversee your reputation. If you are hiding, then take the time to express yourself online. I think it is important to remember, not having an online presence can be taken negatively by future employers. You want to make sure you have an equal balance of professional and fun on your profile. The impact of social media is not going away,” says Alyssa Reinhard, Recruiter at Contemporary Staffing.
So just what are hiring managers and recruiters looking for when they search you out online?
How Do You Spend Your Free Time?
Recruiters and hiring managers will pull up your personal social media profiles to see what types of things you post. According to Monster, 70 percent of recruiters say they have rejected candidates based on their social media footprint. If you haven’t learned to keep your personal profiles private, it is worth the time to set everything to private, except LinkedIn.
Even if you are private, there are ways that recruiters can still gather information about your social media activity. There are software programs and algorithms that can search your posts, so even after setting your pages to private, take some time to clean them up. A recent study revealed that employers have extremely low tolerance for mentions of illegal drugs, as well as comments they deem to be bigoted or bullying.
Hiring managers and recruiters aren’t only looking for dirt, however. They also want to see if you mention involvement in your community, whether you participate in professional organizations, if you volunteer, etc. They can glean just as much positive information from your social media footprint as they can negative information.
Do You Really Know What You Are Doing?
Your online presence can be a window into what you really know about your chosen field. Do you have an online portfolio for hiring managers and recruiters to browse? Are you active in your field’s communities on LinkedIn? Do you share insightful content? Take the time to truly brand yourself as an expert, even if you only recently graduated from college. Hiring managers that can find “proof” of your expertise and enthusiasm will want to learn more about you and the value you could add to their organization.
Will You Fit In?
Hiring managers care deeply about your skills and expertise, but when it comes time to make a hiring decision, they want to make sure the person they bring on will fit in with the team. Values alignment and personality matter now more than ever before, because they know people who don’t mesh well will move on to an organization where they do fit in.
Because fit matters, don’t be afraid to let your personality show through on LinkedIn or any other professional social media profiles you set up for yourself. Share your goals, your passions and your values so they can get a feel for who you are as a person.
The choices you make and the steps you take early in your career can have a lasting impact on your life. If you are a recent college graduate, or if you are about to graduate soon, the recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions can help set you on the path to success. Our recruiters will partner with you to match you with positions that align with your goals. Contact us to learn more about our commitment to your success.