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Business.com Guest Poster Dave Thomas: Resumes and Social Media

by Brooks on December 14, 2011

Special thanks to Dave Thomas and our friends at Business.com for this week’s post!

 

Don’t Be Too Social When It Comes to Your Resume

For the young professional looking to either carve out that first resume following college or update the one they currently have during a job search – one thing is important to remember – being too social can come back to haunt one.

While young professionals of older eras did not have the Internet and all its tools to build their resumes, search for jobs and promote themselves, today’s generation of young professional job seekers do. With that luxury, however, comes a price. Quite simply, being stupid with your social media activities can serve as a red flag to a potential employer.

Social Media and Resumes

With millions and millions of young professionals on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and more, there is always the opportunity to say something inappropriate or post a racy picture that can end up costing them a potential

A recent survey from Reppler of more than 300 hiring professionals showed that 91 percent of recruiters check the social media sites that job candidates are using. Employers will look to gather various details about candidates, including comments on their blog or forum posts, photos, negative comments regarding previous employers and more.position with an employer.

Among the additional findings from the study:

  • Sixty-eight percent of recruiters have hired a candidate based on their time on those networks;
  • Sixty-nine percent reported they have turned away a candidate due to something they saw about the individual on a social media site;
  • Forty-seven percent of employers utilize social networking sites for screening prospective employees right after obtaining their application for work;
  • Seventy-six percent of employers monitor Facebook, 53 percent check Twitter, and 48 percent view LinkedIn;
  • Sixty-eight percent of employers have brought on a candidate due to something they saw regarding them on a social networking site.

Keep in mind the following when mixing social media and the search for a new position:

  • More employers check social media sites now than ever before – As the previously mentioned survey data reveals, more companies are taking the time to check the social media habits of those they may hire. While this doesn’t mean you cannot use social media sites, it does mean that you need to use them wisely. If you are at a party and end up posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter, etc. of a keg party where you’re intoxicated, what impression do you think that may leave a potential employer with? Post wisely, don’t say anything negative about others, especially past employers, and don’t make it seem like you live on such sites 24/7;
  • Don’t lie about your credentials – If you have a LinkedIn profile set up, don’t exaggerate about your qualifications when it comes to your resume. Employers also check LinkedIn, meaning your profile better be what it says it is as it relates to work experience. This can be especially embarrassing if you say you can handle an I.T. program when applying for a job, and then show in reality you cannot during an interview. Also don’t fudge things like your GPA in college or what you did on internships when using social media sites;
  • Evaluate your grammar in social media – We all know that many of us using social media sites to chat with others take shortcuts. While that is fine for such sites, don’t leave a long trail of misspellings, slang and other grammatical issues that can leave you looking less than qualified for a position. Also make sure your language is appropriate and you do not come across as someone who easily offends others, yet another red flag for potential employers;
  • Review what is being said about you – Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can oftentimes be used by friends and family to rag on each other. While this is typically just harmless fun, it can appear differently to a potential boss. Make sure you clean up any potentially harmful statements, photos, etc. on sites that could come back to haunt you. This is also a good time to lock up your profile so that you manage the content and those requesting to interact with you online.

As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when using social media and putting your resume out for different eyes to see.

The best route to go is using common sense so that any comments or images you post don’t come across as red flags to a potential employer.

Dave Thomas, who covers background checks among other items, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

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