In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Along with personal use, social media platforms provide various advantages for job seekers, such as creating connections, enhancing personal branding, and building professional networks. However, it’s crucial to recognise that our social media presence can also have a significant impact on our job search and career prospects. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 57% of them have found inappropriate content that led to not hiring a candidate.

A recent case that demonstrates the potential impact of social media on your career is that of former footballer and TV presenter, Gary Lineker. Lineker faced criticism and calls for him to be fired from his job at the BBC following a controversial tweet he posted. This incident highlights the importance of being mindful of what you post and how it may be perceived by others, especially when it comes to sensitive or contentious topics.

Here are some tips for employees to prevent their social media use from holding them back in their career or job search:

 

Review your social media profiles:

Make it a priority to review all your social media profiles to ensure they convey a professional and appropriate image. Remove any posts or photos that may be deemed inappropriate or offensive. It is also a good idea to make sure that you are comfortable with any photos that you’ve been tagged in on social media, as potential employers may come across them during a search. Untag yourself from any photos that could be perceived negatively.

 

Be mindful of your posts:

Avoid posting anything that could be considered offensive, controversial, or discriminatory, including posts about sensitive topics such as politics or religion. Before sharing anything online, consider whether it’s something you would feel comfortable saying in front of your boss or colleagues. If it is not, then it is most likely best not to post it.

 

Rethink who you are following:

Another useful tip to improve your social media presence is to unfollow controversial or distasteful accounts. Following accounts that post offensive or controversial content can reflect poorly on you and your professional image. It’s important to remember that potential employers may view the content you engage with as a reflection of your personal values or beliefs. By unfollowing such accounts, you can avoid any negative associations and present a more positive image to employers.

 

Use social media to your advantage:

Finally, remember that social media can be a powerful tool for building your personal brand and networking with potential employers. Use it to showcase your skills and accomplishments, and to connect with others in your industry. By using social media strategically, you can help to boost your visibility and enhance your professional reputation.

 

In conclusion, social media has become an integral part of the modern recruitment process. By following the best practices outlined in this blog post, you can create a strong and positive social media presence that will help portray you in the best possible light to potential employers. Remember, your social media profiles are an extension of your personal brand and can help you stand out in a competitive job market.  With the right approach, social media can be a powerful tool for advancing your career and achieving your professional goals.

 

Information sources: Glassdoor (2020), Milkround (2023), Reed (2022)