Is Not Having Social Media Bad for Your Job Search?
These days, it’s guaranteed that when you apply for a job, your prospective employer will search for you on social media sites. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 7 in 10 of employers check prospective employees’ social media pages during the interview and hiring process.
This may cause most people to worry about any “damaging evidence” floating around the social media sphere. This could be embarrassing photos from college tweets that haven’t aged well, or posts about celebrity crushes. You wouldn’t want something like that to prevent you from getting a job.
You may think the safest bet is to delete all of your social media accounts before starting your job search. No social media, no worries, right? Well, not quite.
It turns out that not having social media can be bad for your job search.
What No Social Media Says About You
Being silent on social media actually speaks volumes. Here’s what employers may think when they search for you on social media sites, and nothing comes up.
1. You’ve Got Something to Hide
Imagine you’re an employer and you try to search for a prospective employee on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and you find nothing. It’s kind of weird, right?
Having no virtual footprint is an immediate red flag. It looks like you are trying to hide information or hide from someone. Even if you don’t like the “fun” social media sites, you need to have a professional LinkedIn profile at the very least.
2. You’re a Dinosaur
Basic social media skills are a must have in today’s job market. Having no social media presence signals to employers that you’re out of touch with current trends.
An employer may wonder if you’re too old for the job. Or they may doubt you can handle other technical skills needed in today’s workplace such as video conferencing, instant messaging, or project management software.
3. You Don’t Care
For many people, social media just isn’t their thing. They don’t want to post pictures of their kids to Facebook. They’d rather enjoy the moment than try to capture the perfect selfie. They may prefer talking to texting. And, there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, that same person might think that their cover letter, resume, and interviewing skills are enough to land them a job. Unfortunately, that’s just not true anymore.
You should have a stellar resume and cover letter, but you also need a polished online presence. Without one, an employer can think that you just don’t care enough to put in the effort. It makes you look lazy, when in reality, you’re anything but.
4. You Have Nothing to Offer
If you are a truly valuable candidate, you would use every social media channel at your disposal to tout your skills and experience. At least, that’s what a prospective employer would think.
If an employer can’t see your skills and experience online, then it looks like you have nothing to offer. They might wonder if you’re trying to cover up the fact that you lack experience. Or, they may think you have no real marketable skills.
5. You Have No Personality
Employers aren’t hiring robots, they’re hiring people. When they search for you online, it can be to your advantage that an employer sees some of what you do outside of work.
Maybe your employer will learn that you enjoy volunteering, or you’re an avid cyclist, or you won second prize at a karaoke contest. Letting a prospective employer get a peek into your personal life lets them know you’re a well-rounded person with interests.
Your interests may not apply directly to the job, but it may indicate that you’ll fit in with the team or the company culture.
6. You Don’t Exist
More than ever before, recruiters and employers are using social media to find talent. Of course, they scour LinkedIn to research possible candidates. But they’re also turning to Facebook and even Instagram in recent years.
If you don’t have a social media presence, then you simply don’t exist to these recruiters. There’s no telling how many job opportunities that might be passing you by because they can’t find you.
7. You’re Not Part of the Conversation
An employer isn’t just looking you up on LinkedIn to make sure your resume matches your profile. They also look at your activity on the platform.
How many connections do you have? Who are you following? Are you posting relevant content? Are you leaving thoughtful comments on other’s posts? Do you seem engaged and interested in what’s happening in your prospective employer’s industry?
No online presence means there’s no indication that you are passionate about the industry or company you want to be a part of.
Get Started with Social Media
When there’s virtually no information about you online, an employer will fill in the gaps with their own assumptions. None of those assumptions are good.
If you’re just getting started, then here are some tips to help you enhance your social media game.
- Create a LinkedIn profile. You can sign up for free. Make sure you have a professional headshot as part of your profile. Once your profile is complete, start connecting with people, posting content, and building a network. You want to look like an active participant on the platform.
- Try Twitter: Establish a Twitter account so you can start following companies that you’re interested in working for and industry thought leaders. You can also post relevant content of your own.
- Focus on Facebook: Create a Facebook page where you can post about the things you might do for fun. Whether it’s camping trips, concerts, baking, or volunteering, use your Facebook page to show the more personal aspects of your life.
- Consider other social media sites: Instagram and Pinterest are other social media sites that you may want to explore. Each has a specific purpose and can be advantageous in your job search.
Social media platforms are a big part of today’s corporate world. Not having social media is bad for your job search.
Starting with social media may seem overwhelming at first, but once you dive in, you may find that you enjoy it—especially when you start getting contacted for job interviews and you land the perfect job.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.