Do You Need To Do An Audit Of Your Social Media?
Job hunting and interviewing are stressful enough tasks as they are, but over the past 10 years prospective candidates have had a new problem to deal with – how their presence on social media may be viewed by a potential new employer.
It’s inevitable that most potential employers are going to look at how you come across on social media at some point, this could be prior to interview or in the deliberation stage of offering you the job. Your social media is now viewed as an extension of your C.V. so it’s important that these show you in a positive light.
This is tough to get right – showing you’re personable and social without a potential new boss seeing pictures of you drunk on a weekend. After all, 85% of employers have said they would be less likely to hire a candidate if they came across something unfavourable on their social media profiles.
What you write on your social media statuses and updates may portray you as a very different person as to how you’d behave during an interview. So make sure you delete any offensive or derogatory posts, especially any regarding previous employers. Look at it as if your parents were following your social media and remove anything you wouldn’t want them to see!
Block or remove any “friends” you think might harm your job hunt. Especially those who are likely to post something unsavoury on your wall or tag you in an unfavourable picture. To be on the safe side ensure you have Timeline Review on Facebook switched on, this allows you to approve everything before it goes onto your profile. This just takes the stress out of any potental unexpected photo tags or posts just as a potential new employer is looking at your page.
You could set your entire Facebook to private, blocking potential bosses from viewing anything, but this could be pervieved that you don't have a social life, or that you have something to hide. We recommend that you make the majority of your profile private, but keep some of it as viewable by the public. If you sometimes post interesting statuses on current events or ones relevant to the industry you’re looking for a job in then keep these public. Or if you’ve got some lovely recent photos from your graduation or that three month trip you took to Asia or even some volunteering work you did then don’t make these albums private (this are good "social media press" for potential employers).
Facebook is the main go-to social platform for employers to have a sneaky peek at you, but it’s important to make sure any other social platforms you use are suitable too. If you use Instagram and there are images there like Facebook that may be borderline with regards to the perception from your potential employer think about making your account private, if only until you land your next job.
Blogs are often seen as a positive to have on your C.V. – they show off your writing and communication skills while showing you have hobbies, thoughts and opinions outside of work – but if these are in any way inflamatory, controversial or degrading it might be worth pulling them down. Of course you have a right to free speech but be sure to look at your posts in the shoes of a potential employer and ensure you are happy with the light in which these will show you.
Twitter is often viewed as a public sphere and as a rule people don't tend to have private profiles on here, but it is possible if you need to. However to leverage Twitter as a platform for your job hunt be sure to showcase your suitablility as a potential employee by sharing opinions on the industry and following thought-leaders – you don’t need to Tweet regularly but the occasional one in regards to industry news or the role you’re looking to pursue could help sway a potential employer’s opinion in favour of you.
Ensure your LinkedIn is up to date with all your education, previous employment history and a short blurb about your time at each one. Make sure you have a professional looking headshot here too (if you graduated 5 years ago, there's no reason your graduation photo should still be on your LinkedIn profile)
Finally...Google yourself! This may sound like a pretty stange task but it will give you an idea as to what anyone else Googling you might come across or social platforms from years back you’ve forgotten to delete (myspace, bebo just to name a couple)
This may seem like a lot to do before you even make a start at job hunting, butit will be well worth the effort in the long run!
To find out more head to our Candidate section with CV, Job Search and Interview Tips to start you off on the right foot.