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Social Media: The New First Impression

December 14, 2020

The pandemic has made the job market more competitive than ever. According to a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal, the key to getting a job in the current climate is to exhibit creativity, high-energy, and be prepared to stand out. What’s the best way to accomplish all three? Conduct a serious scan and sweep of your social media—before even thinking about applying for a new job

How to Get a New Job? Clean-up Your Social Media!

It’s not simply about cleaning-up and suiting-up for an in-person interview, anymore. Especially considering that most interviews are being conducted virtually. Now, social media is often the first thing an employer sees. 

And, if you thought employers, recruiters, and even online job resources (such as CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed) were looking at job applicants’ social media prior to COVID-19, now, it’s bound to increase. In 2018, a CareerBuilder study surfaced showing that 70%— seven in ten employers utilize social networking platforms to research candidates during the hiring process. Social media is an instant way for employers to gain access to who you are (or who you claim to be, depending).

With fewer interviews being conducted in-person, so much more is at stake in terms of making a first impression. The answer to how to get the job you want has more to do with the state of your social media than ever before. 

Employers and executive search firms are watching your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter feeds to see if your social media posts:

  • Support the qualifications you listed on your application/resume
  • Reflect a professional persona
  • Demonstrate that others in your “friends circle” are posting positive things about you
  • Show inappropriate or discriminatory content, and/or  information that contradicts what is on your resume

The last bullet-point is particularly important to pay attention to. An employer can and will pass on job applicants who post:

  • Provocative, lewd photos and videos
  • Criminal behavior
  • Excessive alcohol use, or using drugs
  • False information about job qualifications
  • Poor communication skills
  • Defamatory comments about a previous employer or co-worker

For as many ways that your social media might negatively impact your chance of getting your dream job, it can also help showcase your strengths.

Your Time to Shine

Job candidates who are able to support information reflected on their resume, offer examples of creativity—through problem-solving, artistic ability, portray a professional image, and exhibit strong communication skills are attractive to employers. 

But, you are likely asking, how do I know if I have a positive social media presence? What about posts from a decade ago, where I wasn’t as mature? These are great questions!

Partnering with an online reputation management service—such as what we specialize in at LifeBrand—can help you scan every social media post from your past. With your consent, our artificial intelligence (AI) technology evaluates your posts, flagging anything harmful. We also provide an opportunity for you to correct those potentially damaging posts, should you choose. 

And, to give you an idea of how many harmful scans we typically find (from upwards of 100,000 scans to date) is an average of 33 offensive posts per scan. 

At LifeBrand, we’re here to help you get the job you want, and keeping the career you love. 

Get a Free Scan!