Employees and Social Media: The best way to present yourself online


Social Media is now playing a significant role in aiding employers in interviewing and recruiting their staff.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. may play an important part in influencing what your prospective employers think of you, and could even be the make or break factor in that dream job.

New US research carried out by Northeastern Illinois University, the University of Evansville and Auburn University, found employers are able to tell how good you will be at a job based on your Facebook profile, and it was found there was a strong relationship between someone’s job success and certain characteristics on their Facebook page.

Although many employers are still using traditional methods when deciding who will get a certain position, such as gut instinct, the individual’s personality and of courserésumé, they are now also using Social Media to peek into the personal life of applicants.

There have even been several cases reported in the US of people being asked for their Facebook passwords while being interviewed for a role.

So, what is the best way to present yourself online if there is a possibility of a future employer looking you up? If an employer does seek out your online presence, you want to ensure you represent yourself in a professional and interesting light.

Below is a series of tips and advice on how to shine online:

1. Don’t follow the crowd.- Be original. Witty and intelligent updates can attract followers on Twitter, and is a breath of fresh air from crass or mundane tweets. If you’re interested in Technology or writing, include statistics and interesting quotes from leaders in that area.

2. Think before you upload a photo – ‘Before you put an image up on Facebook, Think,’ advises Krishna De, Social Media and Marketing guru. A photo speaks a thousand words, and can depict you in a bad light very easily. Try not to put up too many personal photos, or set a privacy setting to certain photo albums.

3. Don’t overload your status updates – Some people think it’s necessary to fill in their friends and followers on every tiny aspect of their day. Only update your status if you have something interesting or funny to share – telling everyone about everyday details can make you look like you’ve nothing better to do then sit on Facebook.

4. Have manners- Don’t come across as pushy, asking people to re-tweet your article or status – if people like it, they will retweet it. Also asking people to follow you can come across as pushy and desperate. On the other hand, do thank and engage with people who follow you

5. Share your tastes and hobbies- Sharing your hobbies and tastes can portray you as an active, lively individual. Music, books, sport or quirky hobbies can come across as diverse and interesting.

6. Be on top of the news – News changes so frequently, especially online. Try not to say something which has been repeated thousands of times, and try not to give stale information. Staying on top of what’s trending and being some of the first to talk about current affairs is a good indication to any future employer.

7. Ensure the right privacy settings are on Facebook allows you to adjust your privacy settings so that only certain people are allowed to see certain areas of your life. It’s important that you read up on these settings so you are not displaying the wrong thing to the wrong person. When it comes to future employers, letting them see some bits of your private life is ok, as pictures and comments from friends can also make you look outgoing and friendly.

What would you do if your potential employer asked you for your Facebook login details during an interview? Would you feel violated, possibly reluctant to give them? Or would it be something you would be eager to do?