Social media and the job search: Your first impression is made long before the interview

Social media and the job search: Your first impression is made long before the interview

In today’s social media saturated world, the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can both help you and hurt you if you’re not careful.

On one hand, you can use social media and the web as a job search and networking tool that is becoming more robust by the second. However, just as you have the ability these days to dig into a company, so too do they.

A recent article posted by CNN cited that “70 percent of U.S. business managers say they decided not to hire a job candidate based upon something found out about her online.” Your first impression is made long before the interview, so it’s important to maintain a good online reputation.Scrabble-SM_small

The article shares this advice for keeping your virtual self virtuous:

Clean up your pages
Because social media sites appear high in search results, it’s a good idea to choose the highest privacy settings on these networks. Also, “remove complaints about your job or boss, any confidential work information, and photos of yourself acting in a way that could be construed as inappropriate,” says Lindsey Pollak, a global spokesperson for LinkedIn.

Going “offline” to protect yourself isn’t the answer
“If you’re nowhere to be found on Google, employers may question whether you have kept up with the latest trends or are qualified for a job that requires minimal digital skills,” says Dorie Clark, a blogger for Harvard Business Review. If you’re looking for a job as an interior designer, for example, start a blog on your favorite home decor. Employers will be impressed by your initiative, says Pollak.

Share job news in person
Got an offer? Great. But don’t announce it on Facebook until you clear it with your employer-to-be, says Pollak. People have been fired after posting online about their employment without the sanction of the new boss, experts say. Stick with spreading your good fortune in person.

Check out a couple of our past blogs on using social media and the web to your benefit during the job search.
Top Ten Most Overused Words on LinkedIn
The Job Hunt, the Internet, and You

And this article shares some tips for getting hired using social media (as well as some things that could get you fired).

What has your experience been? Share things that you’ve done when it comes to social media and the web while job hunting in our comments section.

4 thoughts on “Social media and the job search: Your first impression is made long before the interview”

  1. Getajobwithtom

    Do you really think that going Off-line is really such a bad idea? I have seen this comment made before and I really am not sure that its the case. Lots of professional people I know and meet, do you have online profiles.

  2. AmyJoMillerCSUOnlinePlus


    I think it’s a personal decision. We’re recommending in this article that going “offline” isn’t the answer as employers are searching for information about you and your work online. But rather, just making sure your online presence is as clean as your resume. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Simply Lawyers

    Hi Amy Jo,

    You’ve put together a really excellent post here. You make a good point about the importance of keeping your privacy settings high and making sure that anything you wouldn’t want employers to see is hidden. It could potentially effect whether or not you are hired for a position.

    Best wishes,


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