Employers these days are looking at more than your resume when you apply for a job. Study shows that 70% of employers now go online and research potential candidates. 44 percent of potential employers who have researched candidates online found content that helped convince them to hire a candidate. More than half of employers (54 percent) decided not to hire a candidate after seeing their social media profiles.

What then do some get right about social media that others got wrong? Here are some helpful dos and don’ts:

  • Google yourself: Survey shows that 69 percent of employers use search engines like Google and Bing to research candidates. Search via any of these platforms to see what comes up under your name. If you see anything offensive that you don’t want employers to see, delete it yourself or ask someone who can, to remove them. Once that is done, then, start the process of pushing out good stuff. This means propagating social and search content positively.
  • Pause before you post: Be mindful of what you post online since potential employers can see it. Freedom of speech is necessary and good but so is being tactful and graceful. Consider the many audiences who will read your posts even If you have an opinion to share and ask what it says about you before posting it.
  • Do a little damage control: go through your social media profiles and remove any posts or photos that come across as unprofessional. Social media gives employers a glimpse into who you are and how you conduct yourself. If all they see on social media are pictures of you partying and badmouthing others, you hurt your chances of getting hired because you come across as less professional.
  • Stay Active: being active on LinkedIn and posting updates in your industry or field is always a plus. You can also use other social media accounts in a professional manner. For example, on Twitter, follow companies in your industry, tweet informative content and engage with leaders.
  • Don’t delete your social media accounts entirely: Survey reveals that more than half of employers are less likely to invite a candidate for an interview if they can’t find such candidate online. Hence, think again before deleting your social accounts as “going off the grid” might reduce your chances of landing a job.
  • Don’t be afraid to show off a little: it doesn’t hurt to talk about your achievements on your social media. This may include past achievements, past work or passion, your published articles, races you ran, or events you participated in.

Resumes and cover letters are great for work-related details. Social media gives more details about who you are.

Use social media to your advantage!