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Jonathan Wiles

Michael Page HR

Managing Director

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How to ensure social media doesn’t stop you from being hired


The recruitment process is continually evolving as technology advances, and it’s increasingly common for hiring managers to employ a numbers of ways to find out about their candidate, which might include online searches.

So, even if a candidate’s knowledge and skills are a perfect match for the role, employers may be put off by social media profiles.
Avoid linking personal & professional accounts
We know how useful social networking can be in a job search. For instance, professional sites such as LinkedIn are great ways to get noticed by potential employers.
However, we wouldn’t advise you to link your personal social sites to your professional ones; keep them separate and don’t post social updates to any professional platforms you use.
Whether or not it’s acceptable for employers to conduct searches on social media sites is a different kettle of fish, and we don’t wish to imply that they do, but it’s worth taking precautionary measures just in case. Besides, the correct use of social media in your job search will help, not hinder you.
Use social media to your advantage
To make the most of social media sites, consider the following points:
  1. An incomplete profile won’t catch any attention: Use your professional profiles to your best advantage by filling in all the sections, such as skills, current responsibilities and past experience. This way it will act as an online CV
  2. Avoid bad-mouthing colleagues: Don’t forget that the nature of networking sites means information gets passed on, so even if the people you’re talking about aren’t part of your immediate contacts, it doesn’t mean you won’t be connected to them through other people. You may even be distantly connected to a future employer, so it’s well worth keeping some opinions to yourself to be on the safe side
  3. Don’t use bad language or make vulgar remarks: Mind what you say in public posts. Even though many sites allow you to remove comments later on if you’re regretting something you said, you can never be sure who saw them before you deleted them
  4. Monitor the photographs others post of you: Even if you’re very selective of which photos you upload yourself, others might not have the same idea of what’s appropriate. Some photos hosted on social media sites will even come up in Google images after your name is searched
  5. Choose your connections with care: If you ‘friend’ someone on a social media site, you can’t control what they post. If it’s offensive or inappropriate, by association you might be considered to be condoning their behaviour by an employer. It’s best practice to only connect with/follow/friend people you actually know and trust to avoid this happening
  6. Be a good user: Posting discussions and responding to other users’ questions will show your prospective employer that you’re willing and able to demonstrate knowledge. Creating a profile and then leaving it to gather dust is about as useful as not having one at all.
If you don’t wish to change the way you operate on your personal sites, simply apply privacy settings and make sure your professional sites stand out so employers can gather the information they’re looking for.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to apply privacy settings to your social networking sites, then you need to take care in monitoring what you post, and what gets posted to you.
Jonathan Wiles is UK managing director of recruitment agencies, Michael Page HR and Page Personnel Secretarial & Business Support.
This article was first published by our partner online jobs board, Changeboard.

One Response

  1. great post

    Now that social media has become a viable professional platform to recruit employees it is important that people are able to present themselves on social media in a way that they think employers would want in a worker.

    Richard Lane, director at durhamlane

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Jonathan Wiles

Managing Director

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