Attention recent college graduates: You’re probably aware that photographic evidence of your innovative costume for that Halloween party freshman year could prevent you from landing your dream job—or any job—if it’s attached to your name online. But you should also be aware that how you present yourself on social media can help you land that dream job, too.
It’s no secret that the job market is tough, with roughly 8.5 percent of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 unemployed, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A trail of incriminating photos, questionable language and exhibitions of a bad attitude on social media can only make a job hunt worse. It’s time to address that history and focus on presenting yourself as a smart, savvy adult whom any company would be lucky to bring on board.
From those photos of you gleefully waving a red cup on Instagram to your hilarious status updates about the history teacher with halitosis, it’s all there for the world to see, including the HR personnel you’re trying to impress. According to Staff.com, three in four hiring managers admitted to checking candidates’ social profiles, even if they weren’t provided on a resume. One in three hiring managers rejected candidates because of something they found on social media.
Social media can actually help you land that dream job, making you stand out from your peers in the recruiting process. Up your professional social media game with these tips.
TIME notes that four out of five recruiters liked to see memberships and affiliations with professional organizations on a candidate’s profile. Recruiters also want to see what you’re doing in the community, with 66 percent reacting positively to profiles that mention volunteerism.
Landed a job? Congratulations! Now you’ve got to keep your professional social media presence intact. CBS MoneyWatch recommends avoiding subjects like race, religion, class or gender in posts. Constant updates and chronicling a wild party life are also discouraged.
Soon enough, these tactics will become second nature, and your biggest worry may be finding time to keep up with the school friends who created your social media headaches in the first place.