Knowing is half the battle, whether you're looking for work or hiring new employees. The conversation about the separation of personal and professional is over — you should expect hiring managers and recruiters to check out your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, at the very least. If you're concerned about what they're looking for, good news: They've told us how they weigh your social media presence.
Jobvite, a recruiting software company, just released its 2017 Recruiter Nation Report, a survey of more than 800 U.S. recruiters. It's a great look into the other side of the hiring process for job seekers. Among its many results, the report shares what recruiters see as red flags in a candidate's virtual footprint.
Drugs and booze
While attitudes about marijuana use are relaxing among recruiters, 61 percent still say talking about or showing pot consumption is a big thumbs-down. About one-third felt the same about conspicuous alcohol use.
Using your words
More than half of recruiters took marks off for "political rants" on social media. What constitutes a rant is a moving target, but do some research on a company's employees before you apply — their openness about political attitudes on social media may be instructive. No matter what, recruiters want you to express yourself clearly: Forty-eight percent would discount a candidate presenting pervasive spelling and grammar mistakes.
Me, me, me
You might argue that the whole point of social media is showing off, but recruiters are turned off by flaunting wealth and big purchases (19 percent), skimpy outfits (16 percent, and arguably a gendered judgment), and in some cases, selfies (7 percent). Don't worry too much about the selfies, though — that's down from 25 percent disapproving in 2015.
Finally, some recruiters, about 12 percent, take off points for limiting your social media presence altogether. So where does that leave you? Content that's likely to create positive impressions is usually related to the job you want. Recruiters like portfolio posts (65 percent), community engagement like volunteering (63 percent), and showcasing your network (35 percent). While curating your online presence might be a hassle, it will help you in the long run. Consider opening separate personal and professional social media accounts, as well as taking advantage of privacy controls. This trend is only going to continue, so control your own narrative from the start.