If you aren’t involved in Social Media, don’t expect to be seen and don’t expect to be hired. We explain why Social Media is critical to your job search.
The recruiter has just checked out your resume and cover letter. If they’re interested, the next place they’re going is social media. If they are not able to find you on Social media in this day and age, they will assume you don’t want to be seen or have something to hide. This throws up a little red flag, introducing friction into your job search and causing a recruiter or hiring manager to hesitate. Hesitation is the enemy.
7 out of 10
If a recruiter receives 10 resumes and can find social media background via LinkedIn, FB, or Instagram on 7 of these accounts, guess which 3 candidates are not going to move forward? Remember, each time a recruiter makes a recommendation on a candidate, they are associating their name and reputation with that candidate since they are passing you on to the hiring manager and hiring team. The recruiter knows that these interviewers will look on social media as well. If interviewers are not able to find you as a candidate on social media, they will ask the recruiter about it. Then the recruiter has to come up with some extra reason why they’d vouch for you. This creates a cognitive load for the recruiter, which nobody likes. To reduce this load, they simply pass on your resume and take the path of least resistance. The easiest way for the recruiter to avoid this question from the hiring team before it is asked is to toss your resume in the recycle bin and focus on the 7 others.
At a minimum, you need a LinkedIn account
- LinkedIn should be a professional picture. A headshot where your face fills the frame. Smile if you can. Think of this picture as what may be used on a company website: professional and appropriate dress for your industry.
- Facebook is an opportunity to show some personality. This reinforces the personal interests you listed at the bottom of your resume. If you like hiking, and your picture was taken on a mountain, perfect! If you are a wine drinker, a picture of a glass of red wine won’t cut it, even if the glass is a Riedel cut glass, and the wine is vintage. Get your face in there with the wine. But yeah, don’t have wine-stained teeth and look intoxicated, probably needless to say.
- Blog: yes, you do need the obligatory headshot here. A lot of recruiters these days are looking for blogs when they go to LinkedIn. We recently saw a blog where the writer went to one of those instant picture booths found in an arcade and took his headshots there with a variety of serious and not-so-serious pictures. The caption literally read “obligatory headshots”. It was clear that he didn’t want to do it, but he figured out a way to play by the rules, yet still make it his own. Well done, sir.
Social Media profile pictures
- For LinkedIn, have a friend with an HD camera take a minimum of 20 pictures. Thirty pictures is even better. Don’t be embarrassed. This is your brand and your image. All it takes is time. Pick the best. Don’t just take two pictures, and then pick one. You want to present the best that you have, and picking from two is very different than picking from 20 or 30. They will all look very similar, but one or two will jump out at you. We all took one single picture for the yearbook in high school and look what happened. No professional photographer takes one shot of their model and says “OK folks, that’s a wrap.”
- Keep the pictures recent. There is nothing worse than seeing a picture and then meeting the older sister or older brother version. If you went on a date expecting Ryan Reynolds and Dumbledore shows up, you’re going to be pissed. Actually it would be pretty sweet either way in this scenario. Terrible example, but you get what we mean.
- Avoid pictures of you with your friends/family and BFFs. This is your profile picture. How is someone supposed to figure out who is who and what is what? Whose profile picture is this?!
Dating example: If you want to find a life partner in this day and age, you can certainly go out on the town, but you should also try online dating. It’s simple: it is where others who are interested in meeting folks are hanging out. Recruiters and hiring managers are on LinkedIn and FB. You need to go to them; do not expect them to magically find you.
Key Takeaway: If you can’t be easily found online, there’s a good chance you won’t be called in for an interview. Even if you disagree with social media, play the game (at very least on LinkedIn) and don’t give a recruiter a reason to toss your resume in the recycle.
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