Networking

#NowHiring Based on Your Twitter Profile

Hiring managers are increasingly watching your social media presence. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the right visibility.

Finding a new job is a job in and of itself: it requires updating your resume, scouring job sites, reaching out to friends and former colleagues who might be able to help, and making sure that you’re putting your best foot forward on every interview.

But there’s one component—a precise presentation of yourself—that’s often overlooked: your social media presence. No, we aren’t talking about replacing your headshot on your LinkedIn profile. We’re talking about the detailed breakdown, the nitty-gritty of how you craft your image that involves many rewriters and constant updates (or deletions, like the drunk photo your cousin tagged you in.) And there’s good reason for it: according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social media account before interviewing them, and 57% have rejected a candidate based on what they found.

More than two-thirds of hiring managers review a candidate’s social media account before interviewing them.

But it gets more complicated than that. Is it OK to have one sort of personality on Facebook, for example, and another on Twitter? How frequently should you be posting? Are comments from friends something you really need to take control of? Here’s how to navigate that social maze while looking for a job.

Build a consistent brand.

One of the stranger things hiring managers see when they’re looking at a prospective employee’s social media presence is a marked change in a person’s voice across different platforms. “If you’re changing styles, you may be seen as inauthentic,” said Julia Holian, a career coach based in San Francisco. That means paying attention to the type of content and way that you post, but also what platforms you’re actually on. If you’re an artist, for example, it may be more valuable to have a presence on Instagram than on Twitter.

If you post something political, avoid ranting.

It’s become commonplace for people to express their political views on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. But as a job seeker, you take a risk in doing so. Career experts say that if you must post about politics, make sure what you’re saying is well thought-out and factually accurate. If you post an expletive-filled rant, you probably won’t win over a potential employer. Experts also suggest keeping political posts off LinkedIn, which is generally seen as the most career-driven platform. 

Check your settings.

It sounds obvious, but so many of us sign up for something and scroll through the terms of agreement without actually understanding what may be shared. And while Facebook and other platforms, after coming under pressure about the way in which they use data, have made it easier than ever to control your settings, you’d be surprised how much of your presences is still searchable. For sites that have lots of personal content, including photos and comments from friends, be sure to triple-check the settings of what the public and friends of friends can see.

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