Who's Reading Your Social Media Profiles
A recent LinkedIn survey of 4,000 talent recruiting decision makers spanning 31 countries revealed some interesting statistics concerning the use of social media as part of the candidate recruiting and screening process. The following are a few highlights of the report by LinkedIn.

- 55% of surveyed recruiters admit to reconsidering a candidate after viewing the candidate’s social media profile.
- 93% of recruiters consider a candidate’s LinkedIn profile during the candidate evaluation process.
- A significant percentage of recruiters claimed to vet candidates post-interview using Facebook (35%) and Twitter (18%), and 32% of recruiters utilize Facebook to vet candidates pre-interview.

Based on this information, the chances are quite good that your LinkedIn and possibly your Facebook and Twitter pages are a factor when you are evaluated by a recruiter or prospective employer. In that case, your profiles and posts must be an excellent representation of your brand. Most candidates realize that their public profiles are on display and are accessible by recruiters. However, many candidates don’t take advantage of this opportunity to bolster their brand. Based on the survey many candidates have profiles that portray the candidate as unsuitable.

Let’s review five ways you can leverage social media to enhance your career and job search.

1.) Carefully build a brand across all of your social media. Is your image consistent? Or, does your Facebook represent the party side of your life? Is Twitter the home of your politically-passionate alter ego? Is LinkedIn is the host of your buttoned-up professional side? It’s natural to share personal details, such as photos of the family on your Facebook page. And, it’s alright if you follow interesting groups on Twitter. However, try to create an over-arching brand that supports your career aspirations.

2.) Select a professional and friendly picture. Photos are a must, and yes, it should be an actual photo of you. Photos of your cat, cartoon graphics, or photos of your favorite celebrity will not do. A headshot is best because people can connect with you when they can see a clear image of your face. Avoid the sexy bikini or bare-shouldered shot. Keep it professional and most importantly, smile!

3.) Avoid any derogatory, defamatory or explicit content. This includes photos, graphics, and posts on any that are not consistent with your professional brand. Skip the rants, cursing, and R-rated photos.

4.) Avoid polarizing content. This may include political, religious, and controversial photos and statements.

5.) Showcase your top values that support your career goal. Good social media is not only about side-stepping brand-burning traps. The real value of social media, especially LinkedIn, is to highlight your top skills, knowledge, and accomplishments. If you are not practiced in the art of writing a compelling LinkedIn profile, talk to a professional LinkedIn writer to help you.

Now that you know the eyes of the recruiters are on your social media don’t hesitate to scrutinize your existing profiles. Use this as an opportunity to tweak or create new content to boost and showcase a positive and professional brand image.