Everything is online these days. Class schedules. Resumes. Job postings. Whether or not you’re looking for a CNA job. Your vacation photos. Even what you ate for dinner. The question isn’t whether you should be online when you’re job hunting. It’s whether or not your social media profile is helping you find that healthcare job.
These days, employers are increasingly going online to find out more about job applicants. According to Careerbuilder.com, at least 30% of employers have rejected job applicants based on something they found on Facebook.
If you’re job hunting, you need to do everything you can so that what employers find out about you will make them want to give you that dream job. Here are some tips to help you clean up your social media profile:
1. Search for yourself
Do what 9 out of 10 employers do when they’re considering an application. Go on the search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo), and type in your name. See what comes up in the first 10 pages of results.
These may include status updates, photos, and comments you’ve made on on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, and even newspapers. You’ll get a good picture of what your online profile looks like through the collection of pages that come up in your search. Is it a positive picture? Do you feel that your profile makes employers want to hire you?
2. Delete anything that may paint you in a negative light
If you’ve made any kind of compromising content in the past, chances are that they will come up in a search for your name.
Things to look out for include anything illegal, excessive, inappropriate or distasteful, potentially embarrassing, profanity-laced and too-personal. Prospective employers understand that you have a life, with friends and family. But if all they see on your Facebook profile are photos of you being a drunk at a party, they may think you could have problems coming to work without a hangover.
Don’t forget to remove yourself from tagged photos, and to delete “Likes” that no longer reflect who you are. A good rule of thumb is: When in doubt, delete.
3. Avoid oversharing
Once you have deleted inappropriate posts and photos, be more aware of what you share. Continue to be active on social media sites. But use them to build a positive online presence that represents your best self.
The key question to ask is whether or not what you put online is what you’d want a prospective employer to see.
4. Separate your networks
The best practice is to separate your personal and professional networks. Use Facebook for family and friends. Use LinkedIn to expand and cultivate your professional contacts. Avoid mixing the two. That way, you can effectively manage your professional image while still keeping in touch with your family and friends.
5. Use privacy settings wisely
Be proactive about your privacy. Take control over what’s out there for the public to see.
For example, on Facebook, set your privacy settings so that those in your personal circle are the only ones who can see your status updates and photos. Review photos you’re tagged in before they get posted to your timeline. Better yet, restrict tagging altogether. Don’t let others control what appears permanently on your page.
6. Mind your “netiquette”
Be as personable online as you are offline. Online interactions carry their own expectations of proper etiquette. So be yourself, but be your positive self.
When you’re job hunting as a CNA student or graduate, you need to be proactive in order to be successful. By keeping these tips in mind, you can use social media to your advantage. Follow our Facebook page to keep tabs on job postings and other tips for landing a job in healthcare.