En Route: A Career Blog

The Social Job Interview – How It Can Hurt You

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY:
POSTED: July 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

Ever hear of a social job interview? I hadn’t until I came across a Mashable.com article on how to ace it.

Basically, what this boils down to is your social media presence. We all have one whether we’re aware of it or not. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn account, or if you’ve ever left a comment on an internet article, your likes, dislikes and opinions are traceable.

Does that matter in today’s job market? You bet it does.

Employers Know Who You Are BEFORE the Interview

According to the article, hiring managers are doing online searches of applicants before they make the decision to call anyone in for an interview. This makes perfect sense. Before you buy a car, you go online and check out gas mileage, warranty, whether that particular model has had recent recalls or is constantly breaking down. People, like products, are now being reviewed in the same manner. Fortunately, you’re the one who controls what’s said about you. Unfortunately, most individuals don’t keep track of what they’ve posted online. A warning – they should.

Social Media Gives an Unvarnished Look at Applicants

The article states, “92% of employers are using or planning to use social networking for recruiting.”

That means you have to be very careful what’s said about you online. Hiring managers aren’t only concerned as to whether you binge drink on the weekends or fall in and out of love (something you might brag about or lament on Facebook). They want to know what your interests are, your experience, expertise – skills/knowledge/abilities. LinkedIn gives them an excellent source of information on your professional life. Facebook and Twitter show the other side. All are important. All need to confirm what’s on your resume.

Editors Note: Countless studies have shown that professionally-written resumes get more interviews. Compare Resume Writing and Resume Editing to see which of our services is right for you.

How to Make Social Media Work for You

When posting your bio online, whether it’s on Facebook or another site, make certain it’s professional, not funny, cute or jaw-dropping. Keep in mind that not only your friends, but future employers will be looking at it. Present yourself as well-rounded in your personal life and knowledgeable professionally.

If you have industry knowledge, visit related websites and provide your opinion on subjects posed by others in your line of work. Employers take note of that.  It sparks their interest in you as a potential employee at their company.

Update frequently. If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in more than a year and never post any updates, you may lose out to applicants who keep a robust online presence. Post your accomplishments. Detail what you did to make your current company money or to save it money. Remember, there is a hidden audience monitoring your content. Be certain it shows you at your best.

Clean Up Your Act

If your Facebook account has questionable content and photos, get rid of them. You’re not trying to impress the gang here, you’re attempting to make it in your field. You’ll never do so if you don’t fit in with a company’s culture. Even a start-up run by twenty-somethings will be concerned about drug or alcohol use. The employees may appear casual and non-judgmental, but they don’t party hard 24/7. They work long, grueling hours and will expect you to do the same.

When you submit a resume to a company, it’s only the first step toward securing the job. You’ll have to pass a number of reviews, including the social media interview before you’re granted any face-to-face time with a hiring manager.

Make certain your image is all that it should be without any negatives.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My editor used a lot of what I like to call "pow" words. Sometimes people find it difficult to say great things about themselves, and I really appreciated the way she made me look--even if I have little experience in the current field I'm going for.

— Tammy L.
Healthcare, Practitioner and Technician
North Carolina
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

279
Resumes Written This Month
100,000
Resumes Written Since 1998