By Aaron Fields
CAROLINA NEWS AND REPORTER
We are in the social media age. There’s not a day that goes by that you probably aren’t checking your phone, liking an Instagram post, or sharing a video on Facebook.This also goes for your future employers.
According to Career Builder around 70 percent of employers do a social media screening before hiring someone.
Social media can either make you or break you, and some people don’t realize what they are posting can really have a powerful effect on getting a job in the future.
Caroline Culbertson, operations manager for the Columbia-based Recruiting Solutions, focuses on internal hiring. She explained why she checks future employee’s social media.
“When I’m typically picking up the phone and talking to someone, the first thing I will do is look them up on Facebook and LinkedIn ,” Culbertson said. “I have found just that those who have more of a developed professional presence online typically are good hires and work very hard. They are dedicated and stay with the company long term so it’s one of my first steps.”
If you haven’t really focused on making your social media account as professional as possible, it might be time for you to do so.
Career Builder also found that 61 percent of employers conduct social screenings to look for information that supports a candidate's qualifications for the job. Fifty percent of employers want to make sure the candidate has a professional online persona. Thirty-seven percent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate, and only 24 percent of employers check social media to search for reasons not to hire someone.
While there’s no way to get people to completely stop posting unprofessional posts on their social media, some organizations such as the Chi Omega sorority at the University of South Carolina supervise their members social media accounts. Hannah Kiessling, personnel chair of Chi Omega, is the one who monitors all of their members social media accounts.
“Social media is a way to market yourself and I don’t think it’s considered that in our generation. I think people view it as, oh, how many likes can I get, this is a cute pic of me having fun college life,” Kiessling said. “But it is a way to market yourself and once you join an organization that is bigger than just you, you are in turn in marketing that company and representing their brand and that is something I try and strive to the girls. “
Kiessling also said she has had first-hand experience from having employers actually checking future candidate’s social media.
“I had an internship this summer and we were looking for new fall applicants and we were trying to find someone on Facebook. We were going through their Facebook and their profile picture was of them holding a beer,” Kiessling said. “My boss was like, 'he is not 21 for sure' and she had his birth date. He definitely didn’t think his future employer would be sitting here looking at him holding a beer at a football game.”
Culbertson offered some tips for future job seekers. She said to really try and post about what you are involved in at school and that LinkedIn is a great platform to do that on. She recommends to be both professional and personable on your social media accounts, and to really try and show your personality, but to try and avoid posting about money, politics, and religion.
Watch the news report on this story here.