According to a representative for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 70% of recruiters are required to research candidates online. And a New York Times article states that 70% of recruiters have rejected candidates after having done an online search. So what can you expect as a job seeker? It’s a given. Recruiters will at some point research you before either contacting you for an interview or before hiring you.
What will they be looking for? Here are some top areas that they will research:
1) Job qualifications. You need to be certain that what you say on your resume is in alignment with what is publicly available on the Internet. In other words, your resume can’t say one thing and then your LinkedIn profile says something else. But there’s more to it than that. There may be information about you on the Internet that you didn’t post. That information needs to be in alignment as well. I had a client who listed her experience on the resume and went through multiple interviews with an organization only to have the organization question her truthfulness about a job that she held because the job title was different in an online article than what she had on the resume. Ultimately the issue was resolved and she was hired, but it goes to show that employers are looking closely that the information that is online.
2) Peer recommendations. Keep in mind that employers are not only looking at what you say about yourself through your social media networks, but they are also carefully scrutinizing what your peers say about you. For that reason it is necessary to carefully review any recommendations that colleagues post on LinkedIn. Employers take those recommendations seriously.
3) Inappropriate content. It almost goes without saying that you don’t want to post anything that could be construed negatively. This includes sexually explicit text or photos, references to or pictures of drug use (including legal drugs such as alcohol), and racial or ethnic slurs. Employers are trying to whittle down the number of candidates to a manageable size, and if they see these types of things associated with your name, it gives them a reason to eliminate your candidacy.
4) Grammar mistakes and excessive typos. Of course everyone makes an occasional grammar mistake or typo. This often happens when you are typing too fast. But since everything you post can potentially be evaluated by employers, it pays to review what you have written before you click on post so that you don’t have embarrassing typos or grammatical mistakes to damage your job search.
5) Your associations. Many employers will judge you by the company that you keep. So even if your profiles are squeaky clean, the people that you associate with online can also play a role in the job search. For example, you may not have profanity-laced rantings on your social media profiles, but if you have friends online who do, their posts can reflect negatively on you.
Do you need help presenting yourself positively online to employers? Work with a social media expert. Call 877-743-9521.