Reppler found that 69% of recruiters and hiring managers have rejected a candidate because of something they saw on a social networking site. So, if you are sending applications regularly, it’s likely you are being Googled by your recruiter and your social profiles are likely to be the highest ranking pages.

Using social media to promote your personal brand.

“Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment.”

Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder.

A Twitter account that is full of tweets about the topical trends and innovations within your industry is certainly going to do you some favours as are relevant group memberships on LinkedIn and perceptive shares of articles. Likewise there are some stunning examples of creatives using Pinterest as a portfolio page to showcase their work.

But, then again, those four-letter fuelled rants and snaps of the stag do will have the opposite effect.

All social media profiles have privacy settings and it is a good idea to review yours. Yet, switching everything to private can send out the wrong message. According to a CareerBuilder survey 35% of employers are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about them online.

“I would definitely wonder about the background of a professional who had zero presence on social media, rather than the individual who has a well-managed LinkedIn and Twitter presence, but prefers that their personal social media such as Facebook remains private.”

Dawn Ediston,

Keeping your Facebook account private makes sense, but you might consider having two separate Twitter accounts – one professional and one personal.

Building your personal brand.

Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your personal brand is not tarnished by your social media profiles:

  • Reviewing your privacy settings for your accounts. 
  • Using the same headshot across all social platforms helps recruiters locate you, especially if you have a pretty common name.
  • Updating your biographies, to ensure they list your current job and location, means you present an accurate picture of who you are now, not who you were a few years ago.
  • Ensure your most current CV is reflected on LinkedIn and that you have a few recommendations from partners, colleagues and bosses.

Searching for yourself on Google, frequently reviewing your privacy settings, making a clear distinction between professional or personal use of social media and showcasing your talents on your profiles are just a few tactics to polish your social media accounts and promote your personal brand to recruiters.

Like it or not, your CV is far from the only thing they are using to find out about you.