When Facebook Backfires: How To Revive Your Online Presence

The Jobvite 2017 Recruiter Nation Survey is out!

I realize few of you will care to an extent, but I love using these surveys to reinforce the job search tips and tricks I recommend.

Here’s a recap of the 2016 Survey: 43% of recruiters use Facebook to evaluate candidates when hiring. Although the 2017 Survey doesn’t explicitly give a percentage of recruiters using Facebook last year, I’d say it’s safe to assume that more are likely using Facebook during your background check last year and next year.

If every other corporate or individual recruiter is looking for and at your Facebook profile, should you be worried? Absolutely! Too many of Facebook’s privacy settings are challenging for you to 100% control (location settings, photo and comment tagging, etc.), but there are steps you can take to transform the worst potential Facebook profile slips into a job search strategy.

In other words, you can easily revive your online presence by anticipating and mitigating some of these Facebook blunders.

When Facebook Backfires: How To Revive Your Online Presence | Off The Clock Resume

1 | Your Profile Is Difficult To Find (Or See)

According to the 2017 Recruiter Nation Survey, one of the lesser turn-offs for recruiters is a limited social presence (12% of recruiters view this negatively). Think about it this way: If you couldn’t find any valuable information online about an employer, you’d likely move on. As the modern job search is becoming more and more digital, it’s essential that you have an online presence working to your advantage even if you’re not actively searching for a job.

If you don’t have a Facebook account, consider creating one. If you have a Facebook account, do a quick Google search of your name and see where you rank in the Facebook search results that Google finds. This will give you an idea of how easy your profile is to find.

You can make your Facebook profile easier to find by adding your full name (instead of a nickname or your first and middle names), phone number, and email address. To make the best of your online presence easier to see, you can adjust your Privacy Settings to make certain details more visible than others (From the Facebook App: Click the menu button and “Privacy Shortcuts”).


2 | Your Photos Are Too Revealing

The top red flags recruiters find your profile have to do with marijuana use (61% of recruiters are turned off), alcohol consumption (35% of recruiters aren’t pleased), and showing too much skin (16% of recruiters would rather not see this). Your photos may be too revealing of how you like to spend your time after hours. Some of these photos may not have even been posted by you! The photos you’ve been tagged on can also show up on your public profile.

If your online presence contains revealing photos, you can view the “Photos of You” on Facebook and remove unfavorable photos. Tagged in a post? You can remove yourself from posts you’re tagged in by clicking on the carrot icon in the upper-right corner of the post and clicking “Remove Tag.”

3 | Your Interests Are Controversial

The next biggest Facebook blunders are political rants. The survey indicates that 51% (over half!) of recruiters don’t want to see your political views on your Facebook profile. I don’t blame them! If you’re going to bring that heated political debate to the office, I may not want to hire you either.

Yes, you have freedom of speech and that definitely applies to your Facebook profile. Just remember that vocalizing your opinions in a place that potential employers use to judge your character and your “company/job fit” may be hurting your job search. Start filtering what you post, or make sure that you adjust your privacy settings so only your Friends are seeing these posts.


4 | Your Spelling & Grammar Is Terrible

According to the survey, 48% of recruiters consider your typos and horrible grammar a HUGE red flag. Communication skills, both verbal and written, are listed as a required or preferred skill set on most job postings. While your resume may be polished, your social media posts are hardly a concern.

To redeem your reputation of poor communication skills, you have two options: You can either audit your Timeline and delete individual posts that contain awful spelling and grammar mistakes, or you can start fresh by being more conscientious of what you’re putting on the internet. There are dozens of cheap or free online courses that will help you refresh your spelling and grammar skills too.


5 | You Are Oversharing

While this Facebook mistake isn’t listed in the survey, oversharing on Facebook is a problem. You really don’t need to share with the public that you’re craving junk food, upset with your significant other, or annoyed by your co-workers. Sharing your every thought is oversharing. Sharing selfies on a daily basis is oversharing.

This Facebook blunder takes a serious change in perspective to recover from. If you stop thinking of your Facebook account as a public journal and start considering your profile a personal website with a clear call-to-action (Hire me!), then your profile will start serving you and your job search strategically.


6 | Your Work History Is Contradictory

It’s safe to say that employers are typically more concerned with your previous job experience than anything else. Guess who has a statistic for that, too?

According to the 2017 Jobvite Survey, 92% of recruiters consider previous job experience as the most important hiring factor. You likely know that you can add your employment to your Facebook profile, but does your work history on Facebook match the work history listed on your resume? This is a quick fix that may make the biggest difference in landing a job if the recruiters are using Facebook for your background check.

You can add, update, and revise your Work & Education section on your profile easily by clicking on the pencil icon next to your job title within the Intro section on your profile. You can even add details regarding experience, skills, and achievements; AND you can set the privacy settings so employers see your work history on your public profile.

Spend 30 minutes reviewing your Timeline, deleting the public posts that may be hurting your job search, and boosting your profile details to reflect your personal brand.