If you think the only people perusing your social media profiles are your friends, think again. Job recruiters are scoping out the social media profiles of potential job candidates and making decisions based on what they find, meaning that your social media presence for job recruiters is just as important as it is for your friends.  A recent survey by Reppler, a social media monitoring service, found that 90% of recruiters surveyed screened candidates’ social media profiles, and 68% of them said they rejected candidates based on what they saw. 47% of recruiters said they viewed candidates’ social media profiles after receiving the application and before any initial conversation with the candidate.

So what does this mean for job seekers? It means that recruiters are using social media to get a first impression and possibly rejecting an application based solely on the candidate’s profile.  Recruiters can only get so much information from your application, so they look to social media to find out more about the person behind the resume. So forget perfecting your phone voice and your interview outfit, it’s time to focus on your online presence.  Here are some things you can do to ensure that your profile is ready:

Know what’s out there.

Run a search of your name on the top search engines to find out what the World Wide Web says about you. If you want to stay on top of things, sign up for Google Alerts, a service that emails you every time your name appears online. Knowing what’s out on the Web will help you combat current and future issues.

Sweep it under the rug.

If you find that there are problematic things showing up on your online radar, get rid of them! Be sure to delete things from your social media profiles that might have a negative impact. The number one reason surveyed employers did not hire a candidate was because they lied about qualifications for the job. Make sure your LinkedIn displays up-to-date and accurate information about your skills and work experience. The other top reasons recruiters didn’t hire candidates include posting inappropriate photos and negative comments about their bosses/companies. Make sure to hide or delete these types of content, and in the future, steer clear of posting such things in the online realm.

Move forward with a new online identity.

It’s true: what happens online stays online forever. You can never delete what’s out there completely, but now that you’ve hopefully learned from your online blunders, it’s time to cover the old content with new fresh content and improve your social media presence for job recruiters. Employers look to social media to truly learn who the candidate is as a person, so don’t be afraid to let your personality and interests shine through. Keep it PG and PC, and continue exploring your passions online.

The Under Cover Recruiter