Job seekers: 3 simple ways to make recruiters love your Facebook profile

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According to the latest Jobvite survey, released Wednesday, 66 percent of job recruiters polled use Facebook when evaluating a candidate. Additionally, 73 percent of recruiters polled said they’ve hired a candidate through social media — 26 percent of that group said they hired someone via Facebook.

Though LinkedIn remains the dominant social network for recruiting, the study shows that a growing number of recruiters are at least checking a candidate’s Facebook profile before making a hiring decision.

How can you make sure you’ve got all the information a recruiter wants to see? We talked with Jobvite Chief Marketing Officer Kimberley Kasper to find out.

1. Check your privacy settings

Facebook allows users to manage privacy controls on a post-by-post basis. Take advantage of this.

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Make sure that the posts that are public reflect positively on you and show that you have a unique insight in your field (or the field you’re hoping to go into). Having every piece of content private may help keep out undesirables from snooping, but it also doesn’t give the recruiter any insight into who you are as a person. Kasper said that something many recruiters check Facebook for is to determine if the candidate would be a great fit for the company’s culture:

When they look at their Facebook profiles, they’re looking for a cultural fit, they’re looking for mutual connections, they’re looking to understand if the person is talking about the industry or if they know anything about the industry. And they’re looking for examples of the work that they’re doing. The cultural fit is the biggest thing. You can tell a lot by looking at a person’s Facebook profile, who that person is and what they find important.

The biggest things recruiters look for on a Facebook profile:

  • Cultural fit (46 percent)
  • Mutual connections (35 percent)
  • Industry-related posts (27 percent)
  • Examples of written or design work (24 percent)
  • Professional experience (20 percent)

Through privacy settings, users can (and should) set it so they approve every post they’re tagged in. This way, only approved content makes it onto that user’s timeline.

2. What you post matters

We’re no longer in grade school, but a person’s mastery of the English language is a key thing that recruiters look for on Facebook, according to Kasper. Before posting something publicly, make sure that nothing is misspelled and that the grammar is clean.

Kasper said that spelling and grammar errors are often considered no-nos for many recruiters.

Among all social sites, recruiters cited illegal drug references (83 percent), sexual posts (70 percent), spelling/grammar mistakes (66 percent) and profanity (63 percent) as the biggest negatives.

While the photo of you and your friends drinking on a Spring Break trip might be your favorite photo, if you’re looking for a job, Kasper said it would be best to have your profile picture be more professional.

3. Do a thorough check of your profile before your first interview

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According to the study, 32 percent of recruiters polled said they check a candidate’s Facebook profile before the interview; 35 percent said they did so after the interview.

Make sure that you have your Facebook profile set before you interview, so you know exactly what the recruiters see when they check. Kasper talked about how recruiters will check Facebook at various stages of the hiring process:

From my own experience, I do a search on someone after I’ve had a phone interview. I’ve seen their resumé, I’ve had a conversation with them and it seems like they’re a potential fit for my open role. Then I’ll go out and look at their social profiles and see what I can find, just to confirm my initial feeling is accurate.

To see how a recruiter would see your profile (assuming you’re not friends with them), go to your timeline, and click the ellipses button on the right side of your cover photo. Then click “View As,” to see how general members of the public view your profile.