When we were growing up, we used to be told on how to dress while going for a job interview. In fact, some employers even included a score on how smartly dressed the candidate was. But gone are those days. Employers are now looking beyond that nice suit and outfit before employing people.
A while back, I attended a job interview in one of the media houses in town. As usual, for the first time, I put on my best outfit; a black suit despite the fact that the Nairobi sun was reigning supreme with rays landing on the ground with a ‘no-nonsense’ attitude.
When I entered the interviewing room, the first question I was asked was “Who are you?” This was a tricky question. The question either means you state your name and mute or state your profession. I chose to talk about my profession. The panel seemed impressed. Some of them nodded with a vague smile but one that indicated that I was somehow smart.
The second request from the panel left me dumbfounded. I was asked to give my social media usernames; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let us just say I lost that job interview because of the contents on my social media platforms. The panel concluded that I was radical on Twitter and politically inclined, that I was unprofessional on Facebook and that I was indecent on Instagram. Just like that. The job was gone.
Many young people are not aware that current employers are taking keep interest on what one posts on social media platforms. It doesn’t matter how smart you dress on the first day anymore. What matters is how have you been presenting yourself ‘to the world’ through social media platforms. For instance, before going for a job, check through your social media platforms and find out whether there is anything negative you have ever posted about them. Remember the saying the internet never forgets?
According to CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles before deciding whether to hire them. According to the site, employers are searching for key elements concerning people they want to hire including: information that supports their qualifications for the job, if the candidate has a professional online persona at all, to find out what other people are posting about the candidates and also for any reason at all not to hire the candidate.
Social media can either help project your career or bring it tumbling down. There are things you can engage on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that actually help you get a job in certain organizations. Use social media as an opportunity for positive engagement about you and your persona professionally. If you cannot help it, having two or more social media account will really help. Make one a professional account, especially LinkedIn and project your career and use others for your normal social interactions. Also, avoid hurling insults at people and brands. But if you are all set here are a few tips on dressing – 10 Tips to Dress Well for an Interview and some infographics as well.