By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor
 
Whether you like it or not, hirers are using social networks to screen job applicants. This means it’s important to carefully manage your image on these types of sites. Facebook and Twitter are being used a lot to screen job applicants. On Facebook and Twitter, we believe hirers are trying to get a more personal view of a candidate, rather than the resume-like view they will see on LinkedIn. Hirers are looking at social networking profiles of candidates very early in the process. This means that job seekers need to have their online act in order before they begin looking for a job.

Keep it Positive – Whether you’re looking for a job or just looking to keep the one you have, it’s important to remember that what you write matters. Your Facebook Status box is not your best friend, don’t use it to vent complaints about your personal life, the horrible traffic you sat through, or – worst of all- your current employer or co-workers. Someone who doesn’t know you or your personality can interpret something that may seem funny to you in a very different way.
Think Before You Selfie – While your friends or followers may be interested in seeing your duck face – emphasis on MAY BE, your potential employers do not. They want to know that in hiring you they’re not going to be inviting an egomaniac into the workplace, or someone who thinks of themselves first. Studies have shown that the selfie phenomenon may be damaging to real work relationships, including that excessive photo sharing and sharing photos of a certain type makes people less likeable. Putting such an emphasis on your own looks can make others feel self-conscious and judged about theirs in your presence, which is one of the last things you want to do.
Use Social Media for Good, Not Evil – Although most people won’t want to admit it, people use social media to paint an identity, that they have a life outside of just work or just school. So why not take it a step more professional and use your online presence as an opportunity to present the very best, most marketable, sides of yourself? Post about relevant issues within your industry or topics that relate to your interests, keeping up with those add depth to your character, a consistency potential employers look for.
The bottom line is that it is important for users, whether they are looking for a job or building up their professional reputation, to manage their online image across the different social networks they use.