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How Social Media could affect your Job Prospects

How Social Media could affect your Job Prospects

You could have a well-written C.V that's laid out clearly, precise and full of experience with a cover letter that brilliantly emphasises why you would be an ideal candidate for the job role that you're interested in, but that might not be the only way for an employer to learn about the type of person you are.

It's not too surprising to learn that in this digital age there might be some extra research involved in finding the right person for the role. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and have a profile you should be aware that the content you have on your social media page could be public and possibly affect the outcome if anything is deemed inappropriate or denotes undesirable traits. Your potential employers could look at your profile and ask themselves, ‘Is this the type of person we want working at our company?’ Some people don't often realise that your social media presence online can be seen as an alternative C.V.

Social Media’s Role in the Job Process

Social media can play an important role in your job search as employers can get a glimpse of who you are by searching for you online. According to Technojobs data, a recent survey showed that 61% of employers who researched potential candidates on social media decided not to hire based on the contents of their profile.

You may feel that your personal life shouldn’t interfere with your work life and what you do in your own time is your own business but with the advent of social media that can be debated if you're not careful about what you put online. Once you share something online it’s not really personal anymore and it’s possible it can be accessible by anyone. Even if your profile is private and tweets are protected, your display picture could still play a big part in a business decision. A picture paints a thousand words and if you’re doing something unacceptable in your picture than you’re not likely to get very far in the job process.

So what can you do to prevent social media from affecting your job prospects?

Privacy Settings

There’s nothing wrong with having a night out or going to a social event where you can let your hair down and be yourself – within reason of course. Now depending on your photogenic tendencies, you could find yourself with new photos uploaded onto your Facebook profile that don’t quite give the best representation of you. Therefore you should consider setting your profile to ‘Friends’ only to avoid giving a bad impression if you’re in the process of getting a new job. You can do this by clicking the padlock icon in the blue bar of Facebook and following the instructions to make sure your posts and tagged updates are seen by friends only or whatever your preferences would be.

Cleaning up your Profile

You might have recently given yourself a sensible profile picture, set all your new posts to private and made sure you look as professional online as you try to be in person but what about your profile 5 years ago? With the timeline feature on Facebook it’s possible to review your content from a few years back and these posts may still be public which may not reflect the attitude you have today. This doesn’t mean you need to review every single post individually because that could take a while and there are quicker ways. Facebook allows you to limit the audience for older posts on your timeline and Twitter profiles can be set to protected to ensure only people you allow can view your content. You can also disable search engines linking to your Facebook profile as well if you’re concerned about any content being found.

Sign up to Linkedin

If you’re not already signed up to Linkedin, now is a good time to do so if you want to be represented in the best possible way on social media. Linkedin is essentially an online business card and C.V where you can set up a profile that showcases your skills and expertise as well as highlighting your experience. A lot of recruiters hiring will likely search for you on Linkedin and having a profile could potentially improve your chances of being considered.

You can view our article of setting up a Linked profile by clicking here.

Last Note

Just be careful what you post online as its not uncommon for old material to turn up unexpectedly. Even if you secure a job position, your online presence could potentially affect you later on in your employment. Social Media can represent you in a positive or negative light so it’s down to you to keep your profile clean or private to ensure you don’t affect your job prospects.