Job Seekers Beware Social Media Faux Pas

There’s a significant amount of effort that goes into looking for a new job. From dotting every i and crossing every t‘on your CV to writing the perfect cover letter – it takes time. Then you’ve to prepare the interview questions and research the business in depth.

However, one of the things that a lot of people become unstuck on is their own social media profiles. We live in a digital age and most of us have a number of social media accounts that provide plenty of information around us. Increasingly employers are using these as a way to check up and gauge prospective employee’s suitability for a job – so managing them is a priority for job seekers. So, what do you need to do?

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Even though you may have locked down your Facebook and Google+ accounts, there are a number of other places to be sure to check. Old profiles can be your undoing and the best way to see what comes up is to do a number of on-line searches of your name and screen names. You never know what Google will return. It could be wild images from a family reunion, a dating profile or some social media network you no longer use. There are numerous online recruitment companies and businesses that focus on this area when employing some one. So, take a look and see what’s returned and if it’s inappropriate try take it down.

Prevention

They say that prevention is better than cure and in the case of online photos this is very true. Even if you delete images, they are often available elsewhere or on other people’s accounts. Avoid posting images of you drinking, involved in something illegal or in your birth suit – potential employers may not find them apt. Also, keep up to date with Facebook’s privacy settings – they change regularly.

Twitter

Even though Twitter is not filled with images, it is public to all and a lot can be said in 140 characters. Try and tweet appropriately and avoid politically incorrect, racist or illegal comments. Even if you have secured most of your Twitter account, be aware that a lot of employees will ask to follow you on the social media site. The case of UK young person’s ambassador Paris Brown, who stood down after being shown to have tweeted inappropriately, prior to her appointment is a case in point.

Past Work

If you have worked for someone you didn’t quite like, try not to voice it on social media. Whether it’s a blog, Reddit or elsewhere; moaning about previous work will be frowned upon by all employers and won’t show you in a positive light. Try and never come across resentful or angry about a previous position, whether online or in person.

If all else fails and you want to post your escapades on Facebook or Twitter, then go anonymous for your own sake and use a separate email address. However, it’s ill advised to do so and best to resist.

These tips should prevent you losing out on a job because of a social media faux pas.

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