Because we’re living in today's world, our social media profiles are no longer just places to post vacation pics or share our feelings about the season finale of “Westworld.” Checking a new acquaintance’s Instagram and Twitter now feels like basic due diligence, and if you’re in the job market, your social media presence provides valuable information to recruiters and hiring managers.
It’s easy to assume that LinkedIn, a social network specifically designed for professional communication, would be a recruiter’s first stop while doing background research on a potential candidate. But according to Fast Company, only 29% of hiring managers check an applicant’s LinkedIn profile. 38%, however, decide to review candidates’ general social media presence, including their personal Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles. Therefore, it’s super-important to keep future employers in mind when posting content on any social platform. Not every recruiter or manager will scroll through your Insta feed, but many consider this a crucial step for these 3 reasons.
1. Social media helps recruiters learn more about you as a person.
Hiring managers scope out your social media profiles for the same reason you’d scroll through a potential date’s Instagram or peek at a friend-of-a-friend’s Facebook profile: your online presence reveals information about your personality as a whole. Carly Johnson, project manager for Simply Hired, told Fast Company that she peruses social media profiles to get a more well-rounded view of the candidate: “Instagram and Facebook show a living, breathing person. It’s great to have a second level of information.”
2. Recruiters use the info they gather from your social media presence to determine whether you’ll fit into a company’s culture.
In addition to gaining a perspective on you aside from what you include on your resume, hiring managers browse your social media to find out whether you’re a good fit for the company’s existing culture. Johnson also monitors comments and network interactions to get a sense of how you communicate with others.
“You want to make sure candidates aren’t rude or offensive toward people. Also, do their personal opinions fit with your culture?” Johnson explained.
3. How you conduct yourself on social media can offer a view of your branding know-how.
In certain industries (like marketing and public relations), the ability to brand yourself in a compelling and consistent way can make or break your career. Therefore, it can make sense for hiring managers to gather intel on your branding skills from your personal social media accounts. Victoria Whiting, the internship director for the AgencyH5 marketing firm, hones in on candidates’ Facebook and Instagram accounts because her agency uses these forms of social networking to promote its clients.
“We create Facebook content and paid ads for many of our clients, so it’s important that this channel is not overlooked. [And] Instagram is a great place to showcase your eye for cohesive imagery, brand development, engaging content, and clever copywriting,” Whiting told Fast Company.
Overall, your social media presence is incredibly important to moving around in your career. We should probably all consider that next time we're posting a silly selfie.