With fast, interactive communications, it’s easy to engage with others online. But, while you post, pin, tweet and snap, it’s important to remember that employers will check your social media activity when they consider you for a job.

Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Presenting the Best You: 5 Ways to Keep Your Social Media Presence Employment Friendly

Sep 29, 2016

Imagine a world where you needed coins to make urgent calls, and where it took weeks to connect with loved ones in distant places. Communication has improved drastically with the creation of new technology. Nearly everything you need is now a click or a fingertip-swipe away!

With fast, interactive communications, it’s easy and fun to engage with others online. But, while you post, pin, tweet and snap in your free time, it’s important to remember that employers will check your social media activity when they consider you for a job.

A recent study of human resource professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, shows that organizations use social media to verify information found in job applicant cover letters and résumés. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the top social media sites recruiters use to gauge the professionalism of applicants, see what others say about them, and look for other “red flags.”

With employers using social media as a screening tool, you need to ensure your online presence shows off your skills, personality and interests in ways that create a positive, professional impression.

There are many ways to ensure your social media profiles reveal the best you. Here are five ways to get started:

  • Write a strong profile bio. Your social media profiles (usually short bios) should demonstrate your accomplishments and strengths. Avoid using language others might perceive as lacking professionalism.
  • Google yourself. Search your name on Google. If your name is similar to others, add your city and state to the search.
  • Check your network. Recruiters don’t simply scan your profile. They also scan the people you’re connected to and the content they share. To protect your credibility, consider unfriending or unfollowing contacts whose online presence could jeopardize your good reputation.
  • Photos matter. Make sure you have a professional-looking photo on your social media profiles. You may also want to delete or untag yourself in photos that don’t show you in a favorable light.
  • Mind your manners. Review your social media posts and comments to make sure you are sharing or commenting on information in a polite, accessible way. If you wouldn’t say it to someone sitting across the dinner table, you probably shouldn’t say it on social media. Future employers may take offense at online rants about politics, religion or other topics.

Social media is a wonderful way for employers to find even more reasons to hire you. Just remember that everything you post online will always be available to someone, somewhere.

If you’re ready to work and would like help with your résumé and job applications, Ticket to Work might be right for you!

About Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn more

To learn more about Ticket Work, contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (Voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket to Work Find Help tool.