Social media do’s and don’ts when job-hunting

Social media dos and don’ts during your job hunt

Okay, we admit it. Your recruiter or potential employer is unlikely to make a decision about employing you based purely on your social media foibles and follies. But do you know what? It could make the difference between you and another candidate if the decision is tight. And yes, recruiters and employers will try and sniff you out on social media. The good news? With a little thought, you can turn that to your advantage.


Applying for jobs? Time to spring clean your profiles.

Anything nsfw (not safe for work) needs to go. Inappropriate pics, comments and article links should all be consigned to history. And don’t just clean up the last few weeks of your social media history. Go right back to day dot. Ground zero.

Why not just set your profiles to private?

Good question. It’s your prerogative if you’d rather keep your private life visible to your friends and followers only. It certainly saves the effort of trawling through your timeline on the tidy up. But going private could be a missed opportunity. Social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in lots of different businesses. There are plenty of employers who will be happy to put your hashtagging habits to good use. A well-watered presence across the social platforms is nothing to hide.

Choose a decent avatar

If your profile picture shows you about to nail your tenth shot during that night in Magaluf, it might be time for a change. Pro tip: consider using the same profile image across your accounts for consistency. Even better, use a consistent theme with a slight tweak according to the platform. E.g. holding a camera for Instagram.

Make sure your username is non-offensive

As important as your avatar is your username. @littleminx94 or @ladythriller007 doesn’t give out the best first impression - true or otherwise. Using LinkedIn? Here’s a tip. You can tweak your profile URL, replacing the string of random numbers to whatever you choose. Go to edit profile. Just below your profile photo, in the tiniest font size ever, will be your profile URL. Hover over it and click the settings icon. Away you go.

Think about who you are following and what content you share

The profiles you follow and the type of content you share can reveal more than you think about the type of person you are. And whether it’s right or wrong, some recruiters and employers won’t hesitate to make assumptions if they see something offensive or inappropriate. Retweeting discriminatory jokes should probably be avoided for now, regardless of the lols.

Interview time: what to post (and what not to post)

Scored an interview? Congratulations! If you have time during your preparations, it might be worth posting a quick update about how excited you are or how much the job means to you. It’s worth the brownie points if your recruiter checks your profile. As for post-interview analysis? Best to steer clear. And under no circumstances should you blast your interviewer or sound-off about how badly it went. (Which it won’t.)

>> How to prepare for an interview

Using social media to showcase your talent

There’s no shame in jumping to social media to promote your talents. In fact, we’d encourage it. Let’s say you’re a photographer, illustrator or designer. Instagram is the perfect place to post snippets of your portfolio. Applying for a job as a marketing consultant? Publish thought leadership articles on LinkedIn. Your social media channels give you a fabulous opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for what you do.

Over to you!

P.S. Best of luck in your job hunt.