Social Media and recruitment

With our increased social media presence on the internet, it is no surprise that the lines between our personal and professional lives are blurring.

We might own a LinkedIn account for professional networking and a Facebook account for personal networking but depending on the security profile settings you select and those available within the application, our social media is often accessible to anyone who cares to search.

According to an October 2018 survey by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. As you update your CV before making a job application and pull out your formal dress before a job interview, it may also pay to take some time to review your social media accounts before embarking on your job search.

Whether you are for or against Social Media, it is here to stay. If you choose to post online be aware that it might not just be friends and family who are seeking you out. If you have an online social presence it is important to understand how to manage it.

Review your Social Media

Before applying for a new position, it is a good idea to run a Google Search of yourself. Find out what is online and publicly available about you.

Update your security settings

Use the security settings that are available in the platform you are posting in. Is that inappropriate post or photo that you thought was available to one or two people, actually being broadcast to the world? If you’re not sure, it’s probably best to remove it.

If you want to increase your privacy when it comes to social media, check your privacy settings. For example, some social media platforms allow you to disable search engines to link to your profile.

Review your general privacy settings also, to ensure any future posts and photos are only being seen by your friends and not the general public.

Appropriate Content

Your online persona is an extension of you. If you don’t think your grandparents would approve then it’s probably not appropriate to post online.

Remove or hide posts or photos that could be considered offensive.

Set a clear and appropriate profile picture of yourself rather than that funny meme you found online.

Think before you post

I recently read a Facebook post in a community group where the driver of a vehicle took a photo of another motorist making an illegal passing manoeuvre. One of the comments in response to the image was poorly spelled and full of profanities, aimed at the taker of the picture for using a camera whilst driving. The attack went on for two or three comments before the original poster wrote back “I have a dash-cam”. If you choose to engage in social media, I urge that you think before you post.

The issue here is not that the original poster was challenged, the issue is that it was done in an aggressive, offensive and poorly thought out way. Whilst someone might feel comfortable ‘trolling’ online but would never think to do this in person, it is important to remember that your social profile is an extension of your persona.

Assume your potential employer has checked you out

Err on the side of caution and assume that your prospective employer has checked you out online. And remember that honesty is always the best policy!

For more great tips from WINGS, check out our other blogs.