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Pro Tip: How to Ensure Your Social Profiles are Professional

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, there are astounding numbers that reflect how important social is for employers when they are interviewing a potential candidate. “54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles.” With such a large percentage, it is important to understand, as an applicant, what employers are looking for on your social media, and how to update your digital presence. From a recruiter standpoint, it is also important to evaluate your current social presence and rethink what you are posting prior to making it “live” since you are representing your company.

Most individuals have one or two of the following social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Instagram. Some of these platforms have privacy settings that allow you to choose who you would like to share your posts and photos with. Facebook is a platform that focuses on sharing life events, photos, videos, and articles with friends and the general public. Most individuals have this platform because it has become a social tool that has allowed people to reconnect throughout life events. LinkedIn is a social platform designed for career and business professionals to connect. As an applicant, LinkedIn is your main professional platform that you should focus on revising. Your LinkedIn profile is your online portfolio, and may be your first impression with a potential employer. Since first impressions matter to employers, be sensitive to posting personal views on religion, politics and beliefs on money. It is important to have opinions and perspectives; however, these topics are always more sensitive to discuss. Therefore, be respectful when posting, commenting, and resharing articles regarding these topics. If an employer interviewed you, they are probably looking at your profile to see your references, experience, about section, and connections. Additionally, recruiters who are seeking individuals with your experience may reach out to you based on what they see on your LinkedIn profile, even if they know you’re currently employed.

Social recruiting is becoming a key element in the job application process. My current candidate outreach and engagement efforts include having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn because it is a way to stay connected with employees, engage with candidates, and highlight our corporate culture. Don’t forget that applicants are also interviewing the employer. If they see fun summer BBQ’s, employee appreciation events, individual success stories, and great company benefits, they will feel inclined to apply based on the corporate culture. Not only are we doing the social stalking as recruiters, but the applicants are stalking us too.

From the recruitment/employer side, do not forget to build a social strategy. You want to post fun events, job opportunities, and interesting articles that will entice the applicant, and also represent the company’s mission, vision, and values. If you have a personal social profile and work for a government or highly compliant company, make sure that your social platforms are professional, appropriate and within your employer guidelines/policies.

As a recruiter, some of the things that I look for in a LinkedIn profile, while hiring individuals are:

  • A level of professionalism: This means that an employer does not want to see inappropriate posts on your Facebook page. 39 percent of employers “were turned off by a candidate’s online presence because they posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information. Think before you post.” (CareerBuilder). Be weary of the fact that your profile is visible to the public, and employers can search your name, and discover you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • Qualifications: On LinkedIn, I would take a look at their work experience, references, and bio section. Make sure to highlight your experiences on LinkedIn, and ask your old colleagues and managers to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Additionally, reach out to your connections or alumni and have them endorse you for your professional skills.
  • Creativity: It is always interesting to see how individual’s leverage social media to their benefit. Whether it is branding themselves as a marketing guru, or highlighting their contributions to the community through volunteering, each social platform is an opportunity for you to highlight your interests, hobbies, and professional background. Since employers, recruiters and applicants all have social media platforms, use it to your advantage and leverage it as a portfolio piece.

“Research shows that 44 percent of hiring managers found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate. Specifically, 38 percent said they found information supporting the candidate’s professional qualifications, 37 percent discovered the prospective employee had great communication skills and 36 percent were impressed with their professional image. Additionally, 35 percent thought a candidate displayed excellent creativity.” (BusinessNewsDaily)

The takeaway at the end of the day? Think before you post. Once it is posted on social, it lives on the internet and is accessible to the public. Always ask yourself before you post anything online, whether or not you would be embarrassed if your current and/or future employer saw your photo or video on social media.


About Hoag

Hoag Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in Orange County in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 best hospital rankings. Since 1952, Hoag has served the local communities and continues its mission to provide the highest quality health care services through the core strategies of quality and service, people, physician partnerships, strategic growth, financial stewardship, community benefit and philanthropy.

Hoag is a nonprofit regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, consisting of two acute-care hospitals, 13 urgent care centers, nine health centers and a network of more than 1,700 physicians, 100 allied health members, 6,500 employees and 2,000 volunteers. More than 30,000 inpatients and 450,000 outpatients choose Hoag each year.