Stop and read this piece before you post another racy photo on Facebook or use foul language on Twitter. Your future HR manager could be reading those tweets or checking out your photo, according to a new report by online reputation manager, Reppler.
Inappropriate posts on social networks can actually harm your job prospects, as 91% of recruiters use social networks to conduct background checks and most of them use Facebook to screen candidates.
With this in mind, we thought it was the right time to catch up with Jappreet Sethi, SVP & Head – Learning & Development, Human Resources, Jones Lang LaSalle India, and ask him a few questions to get the recruiter’s point of view.
Sethi has over a decade of experience across various facets of HR and holds a masters degree in Sociology. He is a certified black belt in Six Sigma and has certifications in various psychometric instruments like MBTI, FIRO and CPI.
He is also extensively trained in group dynamics and leadership development using behavioural labs and writes a blog on Human Resources.
We asked him for social networking etiquette tips to help job-seekers – especially women – portray themselves in the best light to potential employers on social sites. Here are his A’s to our Q’s on how social networking is changing recruitment practices in India.
Social Networking Etiquette Tips from Jappreet Sethi
We read a lot nowadays about companies checking out the social profiles of candidates they are looking to recruit. How prevalent is this practice in Indian companies?
A lot of new generation companies are actually looking at the social media profiles of prospective employees and using these as a filter along with resume.
Companies are especially interested in the recommendations and endorsements that candidates have on social media accounts like LinkedIn.
A fair amount of recruitment today takes place through recruitment consultants, who are mostly staffed by Gen Y operatives who are extremely savvy about social media and therefore use them extensively to filter candidate profiles.
What are the best practices you would recommend to candidates applying for jobs as far as their portrayal of themselves on social media sites goes?
» Don’t use questionable language on your blog, website or social media account page.
» Don’t share links related to adult content.
» Don’t post updates about your drinking binges and related escapades on your social media account. If you do, restrict the audience that can view such information.
» Don’t make comments or start polls on sensitive topics related to race, creed, religion, gender, politics, etc. Your posts should not give the impression that you have such biases.
» Don’t bitch about your company.
» Don’t leak your company’s confidential information on social media sites.
√ Do share intelligent, relevant, thought-provoking links which portray you in a favourable light.
Some personal branding experts are recommending that candidates start a blog so they can showcase their expertise and knowledge to future employers.
Do HR departments really give much credence to a candidate’s blog? If so, at what level in the organization does writing a blog give you a competitive edge over other candidates?
The benefits of starting a blog are that they:
√ Show initiative on the part of the candidate
√ Demonstrate discipline and ability to multitask if the blog author follows a cycle of posting
√ Demonstrate openness to share knowledge
√ Demonstrate the courage to take a stand – can be inferred from blog posts
All these are some of the key competencies we look for in senior management candidates, so the blog may help you in demonstrating these as an inherent trait, especially because you don’t get paid to do your own blog.
India is yet to catch up on this, however, we are seeing a lot of progressively senior-level candidates expressing their thoughts on blogs.
Blogs can be a big advantage if you’re in a senior-level role. C-suite & Top Management headhunters look at the blog, as it gives the recruiter an overview of your thought process.
What recommendations do you have to women candidates, in particular, with respect to their social media profiles?
√ Update your profile.
√ Get good recommendations from your former managers and colleagues, but watch out for the statements below – they are a trap.
♦ “She is a very pleasing person”
♦ “My best friend”
♦ “She was a great party organizer”
Instead, your recommendations should reflect your
√ Willingness to do things that would be considered impossible
If you’re only male-bashing or making comments which demonstrate hatred against particular gender, caste or creed, it will reflect badly on you.
√ Post articles that trigger progressive thinking
√ Talk beyond lifestyles and parties
√ Express your opinions on important topics, rather than being a bystander