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Today’s Question: What’s one social media snafu you’ve seen a candidate pull that made you reconsider their qualifications? How can job seekers avoid making the same mistakes?
The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization composed of ambitious startup founders and business owners.
1. Minimal Personal Branding
It’s so important to focus on personal branding. I often see people forget to do this, and it’s a huge missed opportunity. If I’m interviewing someone, I’m going to take a look at their Twitter and Linkedin profiles. If there isn’t much there or they don’t have an account, I will wonder about their past experience in technology.
Make it easy for people to find you online, and don’t forget to make your expertise clear. Set up your social media profiles (I recommend Twitter and Linkedin for job seekers) and do this before you go to an interview. While many candidates do have LinkedIn profiles, it’s important to include other social networks that operate in real time, like Twitter. It’s always interesting to learn about a candidate’s perspective via their Twitter timeline. Take some time to think about what your area of expertise is and how you can showcase that on your profiles. Write a great and informative Twitter bio. Make it clear who you are and what you offer. Specify topics you’re interested in.
I’d also recommend using Twitter as a resource to find potential jobs. Many employers (our company included) put out job announcements via Twitter. It’s a great (and an often missed) resource.
— Uchechi Kalu Jacobson, Linking Arts Web Design & Development
2. Having No Filter
Steer clear of anyone who uses Twitter as a personal journal. It’s a red flag if they air out personal details, complain about life, and generally act like they are unaware the world has a window into their private thoughts (profanity, inappropriate statements, etc.).
Job seekers: It’s fine to have social accounts for messing around, but make sure they aren’t directly connected to your professional profile.
— Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer
3. Skeletons in the Closet
I once had an applicant who boasted about their previous startup experience. I did a quick search on their name and their previous company name and found some horrendous reviews about them on Yelp. I also saw some similar complaints against them in other channels.
If there are some skeletons in a job seeker’s closet, it’s best to be upfront about them earlier on, versus hoping that the prospective employer won’t find out.
— Arry Yu, GiftStarter.com
Typos are a blazing red flag. My company provides marketing and publicity services, and 90 percent of what we do involves words and messaging. With the many tools available out there, job seekers should spell-check before posting, whether on social media, resumes, email communications, etc.
— Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group
5. Negative Feedback
We like to employ positive people with great energy. So, when doing a social media check on a potential candidate, we look to get to know the individual better. If we see the person posting negative feedback or inappropriate comments about their current or previous employer, it doesn’t reflect well on them.
— Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs