As social media has made its mark, more and more people are leaving a digital footprint that could haunt them.
When used correctly, social media can help job seekers, however cultivating a negative online persona can also hurt your chances of getting hired.
Most employers are now searching through candidates’ social media accounts as part of the hiring process or to monitor current employees. This ‘social screening’ allows employers to catch a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a CV.
With ‘social screening’ in full force, it is essential to keep your social media clean. The big question is, what could hurt or help your chances? Here are a few things to bear in mind when using social media:
• Check your privacy settings – who can see your posts?
• Avoid inappropriate or provocative behaviour – does your account have evidence of illegal behaviour, drinking, extreme political opinions, fake absences, discriminatory comments or revealing confidential data?
• Present yourself as a well-rounded individual – are you displaying coherent communication skills and a level of professionality?
• Proof – do your accounts back up your CV and qualifications?
• Job policies – does your employer have a social media policy? If so, you must stick to the strict set of guidelines identifying what social media behaviour is acceptable in and out of the workplace.
• Association – are you associated with groups that demonstrate your relevant interest to the job field? Avoid extreme political groups that may conflict with a company’s message
This does not mean you cannot have fun on social media. Erasing your online persona can backfire for many job seekers, whereas a positive profile can act as an employer magnet.
Don’t get caught short. Present yourself in a favourable light and optimise your social media presence. For more information contact Carmel Harrison PR at carmel@carmelharrisonpr.com or phone us on 01924 831114.

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