Suggestions for Social Media in Hiring, Searching for a Job

Not being connected to social media is so 2004. In fact, being involved in social media is seen as a prerequisite in today’s job market, regardless of age. Yet, while we have given advice for job candidates, employers must equally watch their behavior, as investigating too much can lead to a potential lawsuit.

For job hunters, it’s now a no-brainer to clean up your Facebook profile pictures and status updates. Stay away from controversy, nix the skimpy outfits and drunken night out photos, and de-tag any pictures of you. However, image is only one facet of the job search. Employers and recruiters seek out candidates through social media, and having an easy to access resume only makes their jobs easier.

In today’s job climate, luddites get left behind. While being ardently involved through every social media platform may go against, unless, of course, you’re applying to be a social media manager, at least have LinkedIn, and Twitter is further recommended. Millennials should consider keeping up a Facebook page. Otherwise, a lack of presence is held against a candidate. John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, stated to the press:

“If you don’t have a social media page, are you now identifying yourself in a way that suggests you’re outside the mainstream? […] Not doing so will cause many to question why and will raise red flags about your candidacy. What do you not what people to know? What are you hiding?”

While laws still lag behind technology, social media is a minefield for employers. And, through a social media screening, unless an employer wants to be faced with lawsuits, must respect a candidate’s privacy. As tempting as some human resources representatives may find it, hold off making judgments on race, religion, sex, age, or sexual orientation or attempting to break through a candidate’s privacy settings.