Career 

Digital Dirt? Employers May Look at It

Did you know that 57 percent of employers are less likely to call a candidate for an interview if they can’t find information about them online?

A 2017 Harris Poll survey of employers conducted for CareerBuilder also reported that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, and that 30 percent of employers have an employee dedicated to screening candidates on social media.

Gary Beaulieu, Butler University’s director of Internship and Career Services, recommends LinkedIn as the No. 1 social media tool for effective job and internship searches. Beaulieu suggests using it to showcase your professional strengths. Ask others to post recommendations highlighting how you have demonstrated your skills. Follow companies you’re interested in working for, seek advice from company employees, and connect with others in your field of interest and ask for their advice.

He also advises people to assess their “digital dirt.” If there’s a chance an employer would find an inappropriate picture or comment, don’t hesitate—delete it.

Beaulieu says employers report exploring social media in the following ways:

  • They review LinkedIn to see if job candidates are active “in a professional manner.” They also check candidates’ connections, groups they’re connected to, and who has written recommendations for them.
  • On Facebook, employers focus on candidates’ personality traits, seeing which groups they belong to and “the type of person they are friends with.” They also check their comments and photos “to see if there’s anything inappropriate.”
  • Twitter is also a resource. Employers check it “to get a feeling for the type of posts and retweets of the person.”

In addition to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can both be great tools in your job search. Follow companies of interest, post responses, and showcase your professionalism by retweeting posts about the company or responding in a professional manner.

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