NEW YORK -- Creating an impression via social media, from what you post to researching your prospective employer, can make a difference in whether or not you get a job.
"Recruiters, hiring managers, future mother in laws, a lot of people are looking you up before they even meet you," said Taly Russell, of Silver Chair Recruiters. "If they don't like what they see, they will pass on interviewing you. And that goes for almost every hiring manager that we know nowadays. Before or after, they are looking you up."
So take even your fun pages seriously.
"It's time to get off the hot mess express," she said. "It may have been five years ago in college, it may have been two years ago...every picture that's up there that you thought was funny back then, it's not funny now...Go online, get smart."
Be mindful of the pictures that could help you get an interview, and watch your posts. Make sure they are smart and upbeat, and include articles and news stories that stir the pot just enough.
"Showing your personality in a positive way is a great thing, but you do want to err on the side of boring," Russell said. "Because anything that's not so boring can show bad judgment depending on who is reading your post."
What if there is nothing out there on you except a black hole? Experts say that is just plain weird, because you want to look connected.
So if you want to work for a non-profit for clean water or other charities, make it known through your social media activity.
"Your social media should be a reflection of the career that you want and that you're interested in and that you're passionate about," Silver Chair's Stevie Cogan said. "They are following people on Twitter, different charities, interacting with different journals and different websites and non-profits, and they're retweeting and interacting to show that they're fully immersed."
Delete posts or un-tag yourself from anything unsavory, and definitely look-up your prospective employer.
"And then when you are there, you can say oh, we both went to Cornell," Silver Chair's Erica Ritchie said. "Or I see you played field hockey, I played field hockey."
And always use your real name, not a screen name that could be viewed as unprofessional.
At the very least, you'll be sure that it wasn't your social media footprint that cost you a job.
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