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How social media can hurt your job search 

Published: Wednesday 1st July 2020

The rise of social media has been astronomical in recent years, with over 90% of people in the age group 18-29 now owning multiple accounts across different platforms. A third of UK companies have employees who research candidates on social media as part of their recruitment process. In a recent survey, over 50% of employers admitted that they had found social media material that had resulted in not hiring a candidate. Whether you are looking for jobs in ITpublic relationspersonal training or the emergency services, it is crucial that your social media presence shows good judgement and strong decision-making skills. Following the advice of do’s and don’ts on social media can be a pivotal factor on whether your job search is successful or not. 

As a job seeker, you will stand a better chance if you are credible through the content that you post and interact with. Whilst there are a lot of social media mistakes that can harm your job application, it is important that you retain a social media presence and refrain from deactivating accounts. Over 60% of employers stated that they would not consider candidates without any social media information available. Here are some of the key factors that could help you in your job search.

social media shortcuts on mobile screen. Person holding mobile phone touching the screen.

Ensure all information is correct during your job search

Whether it is your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn account, social media can affect your job search if the information about you is not correct. Consistency is key, particularly if potential employers have received your CV as part of your job application. Employers will not be tolerable if a job seeker has fabricated the truth on their application, or if you have not included key information that is instead listed on one of your social media profiles. 

LinkedIn is a particularly important channel when it comes to jobs, as you have the chance to demonstrate your professional background on your profile. You can use this to your advantage but be aware of the pitfalls of incorrect or out of date information. Start dates, leaving dates, job titles, company names and your duties have to match what is included on your CV. Furthermore, support your content with any necessary referees as part of your job application

businessman using smartphone and laptop

Clean up your accounts

We recommend that you complete a self-audit of your social media accounts prior to a job search. By cleaning up your social media presence, you are removing anything that employers might deem unprofessional. This can include provocative posts, alcohol-related imagery, discriminatory content, company complaints or account handles. Some employers will look reasons to specifically rule out a candidate, so it is important that your job search is not hindered by past content.

Grammar and communication

If you are looking for a marketing career or jobs in marketing and social media, then it is important that your social media communication reflects the requirements of a potential employer. It is vital that you demonstrate the correct skills if you want to pursue a career using the same platforms. If employers see that you are not using methods associated with relevant channels, then that can go against you on your job application. Grammar is another important concept for any job seeker, despite the informal nature of some social media platforms. If you articulate your personal opinions in a clear way, then your job search is more likely to be successful.

Young woman using a smartphone in a subway

The influence of other people

Staying on top of your own social media accounts is important, but it can be just as vital to ensure that you do not interact with others who act inappropriately. This can involve any content that you retweet or share, and employers can see any material that you are tagged in. However, you can use the influence of others in a positive way during your job search. For example, if colleagues or contacts provide strong recommendations on LinkedIn then that will stand you in good stead. 

For more information on career advice or for fresh UK job searching opportunities, take a look at our Info Hub!

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