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Using Social Media

According to research, roughly half of companies look at a candidate’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages when they apply for a job. But while in 20% of cases this helped persuade them to hire a candidate, a far more significant 35% were instead persuaded not to hire them. Your Facebook page is almost twice as likely to lose you a job as land you one, it would seem.

When looking for a new job, your presence on social media sites provides employers with more information about you. Your online presence adds another dimension to your application. What are employers checking for? What constitutes a plus and a minus? And how can you ensure they find the former and not the latter?

The top five things employers want to find out from social media are:

  • A good feel for your personality
  • More about your professional qualifications
  • How creative you are
  • Whether you can communicate effectively
  • If you’re a well-rounded individual

But they’ll also be looking for the following:

  • Inappropriate pictures or information
  • References to drug or alcohol usage
  • Criticism of employers, colleagues or clients
  • Poor communication skills
  • Discriminatory comments

Check your Facebook and LinkedIn account now for any of these, and if you find them, remove them - quickly.

Remember, social media is almost twice as likely to be a negative influence on your job prospects as a positive, and just a single negative can undo all the good work of an otherwise exemplary profile. Online, you can and do need to manage people's perception of you. 

Social media has its pros and cons, and while one of the good things is the ability to keep in touch with friends a potential big negative is that everybody can talk about everyone else, and if you don’t manage your online profile then there’s someone else out there who almost certainly will – even if only by accident.