Updated: May 2
Your resume is no longer just the pages that you submit.
More and more, we find clients dismissing candidate submissions because of candidate’s Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. Facebook images of you getting wasted every weekend doesn’t make a very appealing image of your professionalism and dependability. Yes, your personal life is your personal life, but if you choose to make it public, then potential clients and employers will have access to reviewing you as an individual and deciding if you make an great addition to their team. Or not.
These days, a candidate isn’t hired based solely on their skills or experience. There are other elements that get factored in: Personality, culture fit, attitude, and reputation among them. Right or wrong, thanks to social media, many hiring managers will look at your public profiles and come to some conclusions about you before even deciding whether to extend an interview to you.
Before you start applying for new roles, get a handle on your public image.
Look at what a hiring manager will see.
First off, Google yourself. See what comes up in the first five pages of search results. Anything you can’t be proud of? Anything that may come up in an interview? You may not be able to do anything about the link—for example, if you were featured in a newspaper story about people who live with their parents until they are thirty—but, as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. You can better respond to any comments about it from an interviewer if you know what’s coming.
On Facebook, you can look at your profile as a member of the public. All you have to do is go onto your Facebook page and try this:
Go on to your own profile page.
On the bottom left of the large cover photo, there is a button that says “Update Info”. Next to it is a button represented by three dots “…”. Click that one!
Click “View As”
Facebook will then refresh and display what your profile looks like if someone who is not one of your friends was to bring it up.
Look through the photos and make sure that there is nothing incriminating that is visible to members of the public, including your possible future employer.
Make sure you lock up your security settings and when you post, don’t post to PUBLIC, unless it’s something you want to share with the entire world. You can create lists and post only to those people, when it’s something that is personal.
LinkedIn profiles are like a digital resume and if you look at it that way and use it to that effect, you’ll be fine. Some things that come up time and again in my searches:
Candidates often expose lies and manipulations to work history because their profile on LinkedIn is inconsistent with other information they have provided to me. People use LinkedIn to portray themselves in a certain light, but resumes are what candidates want to portray in order to appear more employable. The two images should be consistent.
Make sure your profile image is professional. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to take your job search seriously. The picture of you doing shots in Jamaica? No. You don’t need a professional headshot, but at least get someone to take a picture of you in professional attire and post that.
LinkedIn profiles come up very high on search engines so if you have one, you can be sure that a potential employer will see it. Keep it clean, professional and consistent.
This is used less commonly but it does come up and particularly on search engines. If you’re tweeting under your own name, consider what you’re saying about everything from religion to politics to something that you saw on television last night. It’s not a question of censoring all of your opinions and sanitizing your feed to the point where no one knows where you stand on anything, but you have to be prepared to stand behind what you tweet.
Really, this is the same as the others: if you don’t want the world to see what you’re posting, you need to set the security settings to private. That way, only your approved followers will see what you post.
What is a realtor looking for when looking at candidates on social media?
Realtors primarily use Facebook and LinkedIn to assess how a potential employee dresses. Reliability and professionalism are important to their business and how you present yourself online could reflect on them. Is the LinkedIn image a disheveled picture with your dog or a proper portrait of how you present yourself in a professional setting?
The bottom line is consistency, professionalism and character. A realtor, or any business for that matter, places a huge emphasis on who they bring into their business and if you want to be that person, you need to show them an image that will give them every confidence that they’re looking at the right candidate!