How Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

1 02 2017


Did you share that super-fun, albeit slightly embarrassing story about your wild Friday night on Facebook? How about express a moderately insensitive political viewpoint on a short but pointed tweet? If you’re thinking about a prospective job, you might want to reconsider damaging posts, tags, or rants.

That’s because prospective employers don’t just sit back and let your resume speak for itself. They’re looking at all sorts of information, from references you provide to information you don’t even know you’ve given them—your social media accounts. What’s the risk, and what should you do about it? The information in this graphic helps you make a good assessment.

Additional resources:

How Your Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

Via AkkenCloud


How to Lose a Job Before the Interview: Facebook No-No’s

14 05 2013


Guest post by Jeri Johansen

Facebook.  People either love it or hate it.  One thing’s for sure, its popularity can’t be beat – Facebook has now surpassed Google as the most visited site in the U.S. with over a billion users.  It didn’t take long for employers to understand that a lot of information can be learned about prospective employees from their Facebook page.   While those pictures of you doing a keg stand provide a great memory of a great party, job recruiters are not usually amused by this activity.

Effective January 1st, 2013, new state laws make it illegal for some employers to demand access to their worker’s Facebook accounts, although that does not mean they won’t try to view them.  It’s hard to believe that employers had been taking it upon themselves to demand employee’s social media passwords!  This tactic just screams Title VII violation.  Just think of the type of information an employer could possibly learn from your social media page: gender, race, religion, sexual orientation; the list goes on and on.

Whether or not hiring managers should use social media for employment screening, recent surveys show that about 37% do check Facebook before making a hiring decision.  Below is some information to help you clean up your Facebook page before embarking on your post-graduate career search.

Privacy settings

Take the time to set up your privacy settings so that only “friends” can view your timeline.  This may seem like a no brainer, but if you restrict a lurker’s access to your information, it makes it all the more difficult to not only find you, but to dig up dirt on you.


Quite possibly the biggest indication of a person’s “social media maturity” is their pictures. Would you be interested in going into business with someone whose first impression of themselves is a picture of them chugging a 40-ounce beer and making an explicit hand gesture? Yeah, neither would your future employer.

Status Updates

What you choose to share about yourself on a wide-spread social platform says more about yourself than what you actually say. Constantly complaining about your life, putting other people down or stating controversial opinions with disregard to other’s feelings are all sure-fire ways to have strangers judge your personality before actually getting to know you. So you had a bad day at work? Posting about it on Facebook makes it seem like you hate your job and could concern employers that you would bad mouth them as well.

Proper grammar/spelling

Not being an English major is no excuse for improper grammar or spelling errors.  Profanity is another huge turnoff for employers, with 61% saying that they view the use of profanity on social media sites negatively.  Maybe you have great things to say but you can lose your credibility if your spelling or grammar is off.   Let’s review the following post:  “Im so exsited for there company to schedule my inter-view”.   Although you may mean well, this post could be viewed by the interviewer who may become “not so ecxsited” to schedule your interview.

Your Likes

Your “likes” on Facebook can be extremely telling.  While you may well be a fan of “Tattoos by Deviants”, it may come off as unappealing to some more conservative employers.

While changing or updating your Facebook profile is a good practice for job searching, it’s important to remember that nothing you post on the internet is ever completely hidden.  I can still find pictures of myself that I posted during my “only cool people post self-timer shots of them alone in the bathroom” phase in high school.  If in 10 years from now you think you could be embarrassed by the stuff on your social media page, don’t post it!  You wouldn’t want a profile picture or status update to be the determining factor between you and a competing candidate!

Jeri pic


About the author: This post was written by Jeri Johansen, PHR –HR Blogger and Manager of Human Resources at and Co-Chair of the 2013 Northern Ohio Human Resource Conference ( specializes in employment screening and background checks. You can follow on Facebook and Twitter also.”

SHIFT_ Your Mindset

7 02 2012

“SHIFT_. A single word that captures the passion and commitment that has revived and drives our future. Everything we touch, we shift. And everything we shift, we try to make better and uniquely Nissan.

SHIFT_ thinking changes the way we look at things, the way we do things and the way we react to life around us.  It’s no longer about just doing, but doing for a purpose, doing effectively. It is change, but change driven for better, faster, higher performance. We are not afraid to take the lead at times or to stretch the boundaries in wider, better directions. When you change the way you look at reality, you will find that amazing things can happen.”

Why am I talking about an automotive company?  Look a little closer.  You see, shift happens.  Things change.  Life moves on.  What Nissan has discovered is that you’ve got to keep moving toward your goals, whatever they may be.  Curveballs will be thrown at you!  To help you catch some of those wild pitches (or better, yet – help you knock them out of the park,) here are a few examples of how my mindset has shifted regarding some of the social tools I use (yes, this still relates to your career):


  • Original mindset: This weird, new tool has no value. Why would anyone care what I think? And who really wants to know what I had for lunch?
  • Current mindset: This awesome tool keeps me connected to the world in real-time.  News, humor, relevant articles – you name it, Twitter has it!  It’s all about how you use the tools, not the tool itself.  Ever used a sugar packet to level a wobbly table?  It’s up to YOU to find the value!


  • Original mindset: It’s the professional space online. I should be using it for business, connecting only to people I know.  Oh, and I might as well copy what’s on my résumé into my profile.  It’s the same thing, right?
  • Current mindset: LinkedIn is valuable, but again, it’s all about how you use it.  I use the platform to connect with people (and continue to connect with them after the initial invitation) in my network, along with people I’ve never met.  WHAT?  Connect with someone you DON’T know on LinkedIn?  There’s value in doing this.  Expand your network.  We’re all connected by fewer links than you think!  LinkedIn is also great for group participation and to establish credibility.  Know the answer to someone’s question?  Build your reputation!  By the way, I still don’t link all my tweets to LinkedIn.  For me, it’s distracting.  Sure, I cross-post sometimes, but EVERYTHING isn’t worthy of LinkedIn.  Know your platform and purpose.


  • Original mindset:  Facebook isn’t for me.  Why?  Actually, Facebook wasn’t available to me when it first launched (I’m not THAT old) and I didn’t have an .edu email address, which was required for users at that time.  When the platform opened up its membership, I joined just see what everyone was talking about, connecting with long-lost friends and family members.  I posted pictures…some weren’t too flattering.  After all, who would use Facebook as a job seeking tool?
  • Current mindset:  Facebook is the future.  Most of us already know this.  Why do I say that it’s the future?  Apps like BranchOut and BeKnown are bringing a new side to Facebook that allows job seekers to build their professional profile, without it being linked to their general profile (you can still have a locked-down Facebook page, but the apps open the professional information up for outside viewers, like recruiters.)  Think of this:  Facebook has nearly 800 million active users.  It’s where people are spending their time – day and night.  I check my social profiles and email every morning before getting out of bed.  That’s a powerful sense of connectedness!  We all like to share things on Facebook.  What this does is give others a sense of our personality and culture fit.  It’s who we are at our core.  Think about that before you question recruiters using it as a research tool.  You have the power to work this in YOUR favor!  YOU control what YOU post (and who sees it, who tags you in photos, etc.)


  • Original mindset: What is this and why are people posting pictures of food or their newest craft project on Facebook?  That feature can be turned off, by the way.  Hint, hint.  Why would I want to even entertain another social sharing tool?
  • Current mindset:  I joined.  To my surprise, it’s quite useful!  I use Pinterest for moments when I need some inspiration or motivation.  I use Pinterest to help spark creativity as well.  The next time you hit a wall trying to squeeze creativity out of your fried little brain, check out the site.  You’ll be surprised at how refreshed and inspired you are when you get back to work on the task at hand, including your job search. NOTE: Pinterest, like many other social sites, CAN BE A TIME SUCK!!  Again, you make the rules.  It’s up to you regarding how you use the tool.  PS. If you have any delicious recipes, I’m happy to serve as your taste-tester.  🙂

One platform I’m missing is Google+.  I’m still in the infant stages of discovery with this tool.  The original mindset is this: What makes it so special, so different than anything else out there?  That’s the million dollar question that a lot of people are asking.

You tell me – what do you think about Google+ or any of the other sites covered in this post?  How are YOU using them for your job search?  How has your mindset shifted?  Please leave a comment below.  I want to hear from you.

As always, thanks for reading!

Maximizing Social Media in the Job Search

13 09 2011

Photo courtesy of Social Media 123

A growing number of hiring managers are looking at how social media sites can help them find qualified employees. As the job market changes and becomes more competitive, it’s important to know how to utilize as many different job-seeking strategies as you can.  Social media is a great place to network, promote yourself and search for positions that are the best match for you.  The following suggestions may give you an advantage as you begin or continue your career search.

  • Be aware that employers are frequently using social media to post positions.  Through social media, they are able to target the specific kind of employee they’re looking for.  As a job seeker, take advantage of this type of networking as you search for new career opportunities.
  •  Include relevant professional information in your social media profiles. This will boost your chances of being noticed by potential employers in your field of interest and expertise.
  • Use as many social media sites as you can to market yourself.  The more you use, the higher your chances are of finding a job.  Facebook is popular among college students, but LinkedIn and Twitter can be just as helpful in your job search.

How Facebook can Help You Find a Job

Take advantage of some of the Facebook applications available for job searching.  Search for career apps using the Facebook search box and then add some of these to target your specific needs.

  • BranchOut incorporates your LinkedIn profile to Facebook, allowing you and your friends to view each other’s professional experience.
  • BeKnown allows you to search through’s job listings while you are logged in to Facebook.
  • The CareerBuilder app on Facebook sends you notifications of positions that match the job criteria you designate.
  • IngBoo is an app that lets you search for specific job criteria across a larger number of job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and Simply Hired.
  • Use Hire My Friend to promote your fellow job-seeking friends.  When they use it, too, you can attract the attention of potential employers in your friends’ network, making this app a mutually beneficial one.
  • Inside Job is yet another career app that can help you network by providing a place for you to upload your resume, research companies and search for available positions.

Job Hunting with LinkedIn

  • Once you create your account, put in the time and effort to build a diverse professional network and create a strong profile.
  • Use very specific keywords, making it easier for you to locate potential employers.
  • Regularly follow companies that interest you so you remain current on their job openings and familiar with the organization’s information.
  • In addition to researching companies, seek out the individuals who do the hiring within the company.  By building a relationship with the hiring manager, you can find out about any new opportunities that present themselves and thus increase your chances of landing a job.

Don’t be shy about joining as many groups as possible and sending your qualifications out into the world.  In the blink of an eye, social media has become one of the most effective job searching tools available today, so it’s time to start taking advantage of it!

This article was sent in by University Alliance and submitted on behalf of Villanova University’s online programs. Villanova offers an online human resources degree program in addition to HR certification courses. For more information please visit

3 Steps to Social Media Success

1 02 2011

Word cloud courtesy of

Students and job seekers: Are you using social media for personal branding, engagement, career advice, and/or professional development?

Last week, I had the opportunity to host the Springfield chapter of the Social Media Club at SIFE World Headquarters (SIFE is my day job).  I recently connected with the group because of my passion for social media and my love of how it’s connecting people in ways like never before.  We held a student panel (search #SGFStudents for updates from the discussion), discussing opportunities that social media offers and the various issues associated with the topic.  I had the great honor to join Christie Love (@christielove936), Curt Gilstrap (@curtgilstrap) , and Mary Guccione (@xpertmarketer) with Angela Frizell (@oneztwolls) serving as moderator.  We had close to 30 people in attendance, which, for just the 2nd panel in the series, that number was good.  As a reference, the Springfield chapter of Social Media Club has only been up and running since August 2010.

Enough about the club and the panelists – here are 3 of the big takeaways I got from the conversation:

Find your voice; define yourself.

Social media is all about defining yourself.  What makes the most sense for you?  If you’re a job seeker, LinkedIn is where I’d start.  Make sure you have a complete profile, keep your network updated (NOTE: don’t link all your tweets – that’s annoying), participate in groups and offer your insight/expertise.  This can help you position yourself as a thought-leader if you’re good.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. What do I want to accomplish with this social media profile?
  2. Would my current or potential employer view this profile as professional?

The internet is forever.  Tweets are being archived in the Library of Congress.  Google never forgets.  Whatever you post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your blog, community forums, and other platforms will be forever visible.  Sure, your snarky comment about a co-worker may seem funny, even warranted at the moment, but think about the ramifications long-term.  What about those pictures you’re tagged in with the beer bong, stripper pole, or other unsavory items?  Think about this before posting.  My best advice is to simply keep it clean.  You can still have fun and connect with friends, family, coworkers, long-lost classmates and more via social media.  You just don’t have to broadcast how much you love to party.  We’re human – we know it happens.  Just keep it out of your profile.  Last comments on this: I’m friends with most of my family on Facebook, including my grandma.  Would you want Grandma to see the drunken pictures of you at the club?  I wouldn’t.  If you’re a bit more open with communication between you and Grandma, would you like to have the pictures or status update posted on a billboard?

Here’s a great article from my Twitter friend, Rich DeMatteo (@CornOnTheJob) on how to professionally position yourself on Facebook without losing your individual identity: How to Use the New Facebook Profile to Get Hired.

Pick ONE platform to start.

If you’re just getting started in social media, don’t spread yourself too thin.  It’s recommended that you find one platform to start.  Explore all the possibilities and master the platform if you can before moving on to the next greatest thing.  The big three are: Facebook (over 500 million users), Twitter (over 200 million users), and LinkedIn (over 90 million users).   It’s okay if you don’t find value in all of them.  It’s all about what makes the most sense for you.

Some quick tips on maximizing your LinkedIn experience:

  • Fill out the profile to 100%
  • Connect with colleagues, professors, industry experts (use a personal connection request, not the “I’d like to add you to my network on LinkedIn”. Reference how you heard about them, where you met, what you need help with, etc.)
  • Keep your network informed – if they don’t know you need help, they can’t help.
  • Participate in groups with thought-leadership and build influence
  • Don’t link ALL your tweets!  Use the selective feature, cross-posting only when relevant.
  • Follow companies – great for research, opportunity announcements and more!

Some quick tips on maximizing your Twitter experience:

  • It’s okay to be a spectator when you’re just getting started
  • Follow industry experts, users who provide inspiration, motivation, information, or a good laugh
  • Give more than you take – Pay it forward by retweeting 10-15x per 1 tweet of your own promotion
  • Participate in chats – two great recommendations for job seekers are:
    • #JobHuntChat – Every Monday night 9-10pm CST
    • #CareerChat – Every Tuesday 12-1pm CST
    • Add value to the conversation – it’s not just about what you had for breakfast, the “good morning” salutation, or a platform to make the weekend plans (use DM or Direct Message for private communication when the conversation becomes more personal)

Think twice, tweet once.

This links back to my first point of finding your voice and defining yourself.  There are some things that just don’t have a place in social media.  Christie Love stated that her rule of thumb is to “think twice, tweet once”.  I believe that this goes for all platforms, including email and text messaging.  Before you say it, think again.  How would someone perceive your comment?  My mother always said, “if you don’t have something nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all.”  Smart lady.

A few past posts came to mind when writing this, so I’d like to point you to some additional resources:

What are your social media tips for students and job seekers?  Please feel free to join the conversation by adding a comment below, participating in the Facebook group, or tagging your tweets with #SGFStudents.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and help prepare the next generation of leaders!  As always, thanks for reading.

About SIFE: SIFE is an international non-profit organization that brings together the leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business. Founded in 1975, SIFE has active programs on more than 1,500 college and university campuses in 39 countries. Through projects that improve the lives of people worldwide, the university students, academic professionals and industry leaders who participate in SIFE are demonstrating that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change. For more information, contact SIFE World Headquarters at +1 417 831 9505 or visit

About Social Media Club: Social Media Club’s mission is to connect media makers from around the world to advance media literacy, promote industry standards, encourage ethical behavior and share lessons they have learned. The Social Media Club motto, “If you get it, share it,” is more than just a catch phrase. For Social Media Club members, it is a way of living and gaining trust within its communities.

The Springfield, MO chapter was started in August 2010 and meets the second Wednesday of every month.  For more information about the local chapter, including details on how to join for free, please visit the website, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Think Global, Act Local (with Your Personal Brand)

17 08 2010

Photo credit: Faerie Girl

Think globally, act locally.” That’s a term that has been used quite often in the past centering mostly on environmental factors and how thinking about the global effect of a community’s actions.  I’d like to turn that phrase into a new direction.  When you’re thinking about your career, your personal brand, and your outlook on business, I’d like you to think about the BIG picture.

The internet and social media have opened doors to an international realm that our parents could have only dreamed of in their day.  This generation’s graduates are already talking to friends and business contacts in China, India, Japan, and Mexico (the list goes much farther than these four examples) through video conferencing technology, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Their personal brand is not only visible to their immediate circle of friends, coworkers and family, it’s also “on” 24/7/365 for the rest of the world to see.

The public and private school systems are also using this technology to utilize resources across the globe in an effort to educate their students about history, culture, science, and more starting with kindergarteners and up!

So, before you post those photos of last week’s frat party, that snarky comment, or attack on another’s character, think about who you’re broadcasting it to. It’s a small world and with the advancement of technology, it gets smaller and smaller each day.

What message are YOU sending?

3 C’s: FREE Job Seeker Resources

27 07 2010

We all need a little simplicity in the job search, right?  While some have really figured this out, many websites and resources have brought more complexity than simplicity.  Let’s call it “simplexity”.  I took this idea and broke down job seeker resources into three basic categories: Career Services, Corporate, and Community.  It doesn’t have to be crazy complicated.  Instead, bring the simplicity back you’re your job search.  Without further ado, lease find the 3 C’s of FREE Job Seeker Resources below. 

Career Services

  • Most college students have no idea of the services they provide.  I know that I didn’t discover Career Services until it was too late.  NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers) recently surveyed over 13,000 graduating seniors regarding Career Services.   Resume help was rated in the top percentile, with interview preparation ranking in the lowest.  Here’s the full story:  Top 5 Career Services.  Take the time to discover what they can help you with in your career search. You’re already paying for it with tuition and fees, so use it!


  • There’s a lot that can be learned from the corporate side of things.  Whether it’s a corporate recruiters on campus leading an information session about their company, corporate blogs, or company websites (yes, there are some good ones out there), it’s a great way to learn about common entry-level positions, the history, culture and how you’d fit within the company.   It’s all about doing your homework, here.  If you want the inside look, check out  It’s a free site that provides insight into salary, interviews, job seeker and employee reviews and more.  Help the recruiter help you.  Learn about the company BEFORE you approach their booth at a career fair. 

Community (traditional & online)

  • Face to face networking can sound scary, but there’s a ton of value in this.  That’s why I’m putting face to face above online networking.  Each can complement each other, but if you can, I would suggest networking as much as you can in person.  It’s easy to do through campus or community organizations such as Young Professionals Network or something similar.   Meet new people in the community – they may be able to help you.  Go with a plan in mind, though.  Don’t just toss out business cards left and right.  Know why you’re connecting and don’t make it all about you.  Ask how YOU can help.
  • Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular social networks that have millions of job seekers, recruiters, and HR professionals participating.  It’s a great way to learn more about them, build your personal brand (increasing Search Engine Optimization, or SEO), and build your credibility within the network.  Another great social network is Brazen Careerist.   Also, don’t underestimate the power of blogs (like Campus to Career) to help you in the job search, mature as a professional, and maintain your personal brand.  Here are some of my favorite job search/HR blogs: Keppie Careers, Pongo Resume, Real Career Management, Ms. Career Girl, and new to the blog scene, Mr. Career Guy.  Check out the Blogroll on the right side of the page for more recommendations.
  • Don’t stop networking just because you found (or didn’t find) a job.  Use this opportunity to build your reputation and pay it forward, helping those that may find themselves in the same situation that you were recently in.

Everyone takes a different approach in the job search.  I would encourage you to use all the resources that are available to you (especially the ones that are FREE).  

I wish you the best in your job search.   If I can help with anything, please let me know.  Just click the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top of the page.  I’m easy to find.  🙂  As always, thanks for reading.