We all know that potential employers look up candidates on social media. But why do they do it? And what are they looking for?
Almost all employers (90% to be exact!) say that they will search for your social media profiles during the interview process, and that what you post and how you behave on social media sites creates an impression of the sort of person you might be.
Yep, first impressions count – and you should treat your social media profile as a shop window and think hard about what you want your potential employers in the defence sector to see.
So, what does your social profile say about you? And how can you make sure your social profiles make an impression for all the right reasons? Read on to find out…
Six things to consider around social media when applying for defence roles:
What are employers looking for?
What exactly are employers looking for when they scroll through your social media accounts?
Well, 51% are looking to see if you’re a good fit with the corporate culture, whilst 45% research potential hires on social media to find out more about their qualifications, experience and job history.
So, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date!
Beware of online outbursts
Social media has transformed the way the world works, allowing people to share their thoughts and feelings with a global audience in real time – but that’s not always a good thing.
Sure, thanking a company or writing a glowing review about a restaurant is the kind of sharing that reflects well on you, but ranting about staying late at work or complaining about your colleagues online is going to spread the sort of negative message you want to avoid.
So, it’s important to be mindful of what you post.
Don’t rely on privacy settings
If you don’t want your potential employers to see your profile, privacy settings are a good place to start – but these settings still don’t guarantee that they won’t see your social media profile.
The world has become a much smaller place thanks to social media, and you have no idea who your future boss or colleagues are connected to on social media. They could still see what you’re posting and commenting on, even if you use the strictest privacy settings!
So, it’s worth keeping your posts as tame as possible, especially while you’re job hunting.
A picture speaks a thousand words
But it’s not just what you write on social media that’s important; the photos on your profile can raise red flags with potential employers, too.
Again, even if your social media profile is set to private, you can’t control what other people post and tag you in, and you don’t know who your future boss is connected to.
Whatever your settings, remember they will still be able to see your profile photo – so make sure that your profile picture is professional (or at the very least, not too silly – no drunken night out snaps while you’re job hunting, please!)
Consider your digital footprint
As well as searching for your social media profiles, potential employers might also Google your name and see what comes up – so stay one step ahead; put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, and search for your name online before they do.
You probably won’t find anything, but it’s definitely worth checking so you can rectify any red flags before it’s too late.
Did you know that every ‘like’, comment, or status update leaves a mark on your digital footprint? We thought not – so be mindful of the sorts of posts and accounts you interact with and how these might impact your digital footprint.
Use social media to your benefit
It’s not all bad though. In fact, you can actually use social media to your benefit whilst you are job hunting by showcasing your knowledge.
By sharing news articles that are relevant to your sector, you are showing potential employers that you are passionate about your industry and keep up to date with the latest news, and you can also use social media to build your professional networks.
Join relevant groups, participate in discussions, follow companies you are interested in working for – these are all proactive ways to use social media to your advantage whilst job hunting.
Need further advice?
If you’re currently searching for a new role and want additional advice, our expert team is more than happy to help.
With over 20 years of defence recruitment experience, we can assist you throughout the entire job-hunting process, from sharing top tips on how to market yourself to potential employers to helping you put together the perfect CV.
With a wealth of exciting opportunities available in the land, marine and aviation sectors, if you’re looking for your dream defence job, let us help you get ahead.