In Pursuit of Profit
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An article from our Accounting and Finance Recruiting Team
With our professional and personal lives becoming more blended than ever and younger members of the workforce feeling less of a need to compartmentalize the two, social media has become a territory ripe with both risk and opportunity.
These days everyone knows that what is posted on social media is fair game, and voicing unpopular opinions, sharing inappropriate content, or being hateful online can cost a job seeker the job. And while people posting or sharing those types of things may not be concerned with how they will be perceived, most job seekers do care what a prospective employer may think of them.
This is especially true in more buttoned-up industries like accounting, finance, banking, financial planning, and business consulting. Career-focused professionals looking for their next role will ask questions like:
Our accounting and finance recruiting team answers these questions regarding how your web presence affects hiring decisions:
Casting a Wide Net
Think researching a job applicant online just includes reviewing their LinkedIn profile? Think again!
Employers have come to realize that LinkedIn is the most polished version of a job applicant – their best foot that they are putting forward. So, while LinkedIn is certainly still an important tool for showcasing your educational background, relevant experience, and employment history, it is not the only area to focus on when applying to jobs.
Prospective employers also want to understand who you are a person – your work ethic, your values and beliefs, your interests and hobbies, your long-term goals, and so on. To do this, they typically delve deeper into the places where people express this side of themselves after the information presented on LinkedIn passes muster. The breadth of online sources that a recruiter or hiring manager looks at before moving forward with a candidate can include:
If you have a personal blog or have contributed to any online professional resources (like a former employer’s blog), a hiring manager will also look closely at that content to get a sense of how you present yourself and whether you will be a good fit for the role.
Online Do’s and Don’ts
When recruiters screen an applicant, they typically just do a cursory search online to determine if there is anything flagrant that would prevent them from wanting to talk to the individual. They will quickly sweep public social media accounts to look for anything that is obviously incongruent with the organization’s core values. Depending on the organization these values can include environmental sustainability, strong ethics, financial responsibility, diversity and inclusion, or any other host of things that the company deems important.
However, when hiring managers research a candidate online, they are doing a much more extensive search, which may include signing into their own personal accounts to dig deeper into platform-specific content. Remember, at this stage the hiring manager is not just looking for red flags online but also green lights.
Red flags will include things like talking bad about a former employer or extreme political beliefs while green lights will include things like:
These elements are reassuring to hiring managers, which means they can set you apart from your competition.
When job seekers talk about “cleaning up” their social media accounts they are typically concerned with updating old profile information and removing questionable content. And while it is a certainly a good idea to button up your social media pages to avoid losing the job before it is even offered, it is just as important to ensure that your social media presence showcases the best of what you have to offer as a candidate.
Showcase what you have done and what kind of an asset you can be with the content that you share and how you present yourself in your profile. Join industry-specific groups and contribute to them publicly to show off your acumen to potential employer.
Cater your efforts to your industry and the specific position you are looking to be hired into. For instance, when looking for finance and accounting jobs, list:
If you are not currently plugged into your industry online, do not fret! It is never too late to start following and joining groups or organizations that align with your career goals. Whether or not they help you land the job, they will keep you informed about what is going on, keeping you at the forefront of the conversations occurring in your industry.
Looking for accounting and finance jobs in the Pacific Northwest? Browse our listing of current openings to find a director of finance, controller, accounting manager, senior accountant, or staff accountant job.