I read an interesting article that raised two points: firstly, that most employers will look at prospective candidates’ Facebook profiles before interviewing them; and secondly that you should assume your profile will be seen, so you should use it to market yourself.
While the first part of this argument might be true, the fact is that employers won’t be able to see your Facebook profile if you change your security settings to private. You shouldn’t need to use Facebook to market yourself, because you shouldn’t let anyone see it except for those friends you accept within your network.
Facebook is a social network, LinkedIn is a business one. Make sure you know the difference between the two and adjust accordingly; use LinkedIn as your ‘marketing’ tool but keep Facebook for your friends. Sites like Twitter are less clear-cut; so to avoid confusion create two separate accounts and manage your followers. Anyone can see your LookupPage (it’s designed to improve where your name ranks in a Google search), so ensure it’s purely professional.
In a survey by Deloitte LLP, findings showed that of the companies that check potential recruits’ online profiles, 33 per cent said that they had declined to hire applicants based upon what they found.
This is further verified by research from the CIPD, highlighting that eight in ten (80%) employers have searched for a candidate’s online presence on social media and other websites before they meet them at interview.
So make sure you manage your online reputation, keep control over what recruiters can find out about you online, create your personal brand and become social media savvy – it’s all part of presenting yourself professionally online as the best possible candidate for the job.
Natalie Harris is the Online Editor at Fish4jobs.