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Social media: is yours helping or harming your job prospects?

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

With 20 million people in the UK being vocal on Twitter, 32 million people posting on Facebook, and 19 million people sharing their snaps on Instagram, what does your online presence reveal about you to potential employers? Is it harming or helping your job prospects?

According to a study undertaken by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers admitted researching a candidate online both before and after interviewing. And with one-in-two people now active on Facebook, and one-in-three people utilising Instagram and Twitter, we are far more at risk of being traced, and ruled out, or ruled in for jobs because of our social media accounts.

Finding positive content on a candidate’s social media profile resulted in 44% of employers offering employees the job. Employers liked seeing the positives about an applicant’s private life, and an insight into their personality and culture. On the other hand, 54% of employers said after looking on a potential employee’s social media, they were turned off by their online presence, resulting in them not being hired.

The largest demographic of Facebook users in the UK are aged between 20-29 - the prime age in which most people kick-start their careers and start researching the industries and jobs that interest them. This age is also coupled with something else, going out and being physically social. It’s more important than ever that we’re vigilant about what we post on all of our social media platforms, especially when looking for jobs.

Ensure your social media isn’t harming your job prospects by deleting any derogatory posts, tweets or images. Think like an employer and try to see your social media from an outsider’s perspective. Would you hire you?

Social media can make you a desirable candidate to an employer. Giving an insight into your personal life, likes and dislikes and will also work in your favour if you treat your future career as a hobby, such as posting blog articles on your social media.

Steer clear of posts about drinking, any negative views towards your current employer, or anything that could make you seem unprofessional or confrontational, this will most certainty hinder a potential employer giving you the thumbs up.

Another fool proof option is changing your security settings on social media platforms to private, this way only minimal information is accessible to outsiders.

The final option is putting your social media life on hold, temporarily suspending your accounts until you’ve secured a job. It’s important to have a LinkedIn account to showcase your skills, as well as your existing and previous employment to your potential new employer. There are over 20 million people using LinkedIn in the UK, the same as Twitter and Instagram, so join the club and keep up with social media etiquette.

If you are planning your career move in the next few months, get in touch with the team today. We take the time to really understand what you want from your new move and match you to the roles that are right for you. We’re here to help. 

You may also like to read:

10 Twitter accounts all financial professionals should follow

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