Social media has become ubiquitous in our everyday lives, from helping us to keep up with friends to monitoring professional news and trends. It is also making its way into the business-events industry, with global meetings industry Twitter chats and social influencers promoting meetings and destinations. These kinds of tools make social media useful for meeting organizers, but you also need to consider your own personal and professional image on social media.
According to a new survey by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring them and 51 percent use social media to monitor current employees. A negative online presence can have repercussions, but the opposite is also true — more than 44 percent of employers say they have found something on social media that has encouraged them to hire a candidate.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, here are the four areas employers are looking for when they Google you (and they will Google you):
It’s never a good idea to fudge your accomplishments or background on your resume, especially in the age of social media. Employers can — and will — look you up online to see if your background supports your professional qualifications, and vice versa. What can you do to ensure employers can confirm your background information? Make sure that what you post on your social-media profiles, especially LinkedIn, matches up with your resume and skills. Every skill or qualification you list on your resume should be represented within all of your social media profiles — and make sure you keep your online portfolio updated with your latest event accomplishments.
Good communication skills are vital for any job and your social-media profiles are the perfect place to show off your writing abilities. You don’t have to be a poet online, but employers will notice if you can communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely on your social-media pages. You should also pay attention to your spelling and grammar — an occasional slang word isn’t a big deal, but employers want to know that they won’t have to proofread everything you send out.
Maintaining a professional image on social media can be one of the more time-consuming pieces of curating your online presence, but it’s vitally important. No one wants you to avoid documenting your life, but consider putting down the cocktail before you pose for that photo. Employers will remember any questionable photos they come across, so try to avoid posting (or being tagged in) photos that show you doing anything you wouldn’t be proud to tell your grandma about.
Above all, employers want to see that you have the creativity it takes to succeed in the business-events industry, so take the opportunity to stretch your creative legs online. Post original content regularly. Engage in industry chats and discussions. Provide insights on current news and trends. Use the space for what it was intended — to share your passions with the world. And remember to have fun with it.
Polishing your social-media presence takes effort, but it’s important. Of the hiring managers surveyed in the CareerBuilder survey, 57 percent said they would be less likely to call someone in for an interview if they couldn’t find him or her online, so don’t give up on it entirely. When you’re done curating your profiles, find out what else you can do to navigate the new era of business etiquette.