Can Social Media Really Effect My Executive Presence?

Pamela had spent months sending out resumes and applying for jobs. She was ready to make a change in her career. She had eleven years of experience in her field, had a master’s degree, and had earned the recognized professional certifications. So, she was well qualified. Pamela was very active on social media. She posted pretty regularly about what was going on in her life, liked other posts, and commented on various topics, from the news of the day to her political opinions. Pamela began to get frustrated that she hadn’t had very many interview opportunities and no offers. She was having coffee with a friend, Josie, lamenting about her lack of progress. “What kind of feedback are you getting?”, Josie asked. “I’m mostly told that though my qualifications are strong, I don’t seem to be the right fit for the company”, Pamela sighed.

What Pamela didn’t realize is that her social media activity was impacting her ability to be considered seriously among recruiters.  Professionals forget that you are always “on”.  You are visible even when you don’t realize or think about it. And, now, with use of the digital platforms, you can be “on” 24×7.   

A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that “70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. More than half of employers (54 percent) find content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate.”* The content is fair game for decisions made on internal candidates, as well.

Your opinion may be that people have to accept you for who you are. Yes, authenticity is important. Just remember that there are consequences to each of your decisions. Our brains process what we know or believe to be true about someone.  All the information about you can be used to form your reputation, which can impact opportunities in your career. 

People don’t necessarily separate you from your work and personal lives, especially with the digital window into your personal world at any time. What you share is a reflection of who you are more holistically.

As a leader and professional at any level, your executive presence is weighed by not only the perceptions about you at work, but also from other sources. The digital platforms can be wonderful tools for advancing your executive presence. It’s all in how you use them. 

Watch for the next article where I uncover 10 of the most common social media mistakes I see professionals make and how to avoid them.

*70% of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles, By Lauren Salm, June 15, 2017, CareerBuilder.com

If you are struggling like Pamela, to find out where you could be going wrong or might need to improve, click here to download my guide to Troubleshoot your executive presence.

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