How social media can impact your job search

Social media has shaped the way we communicate and stay in contact with each other. It allows us to share updates, start conversations and participate within the wider community. However, your online presence can also be a barrier to finding employment.

Employers and recruiters often look up more about their candidates to get an idea about the person behind the resume. There are ways to ensure your online image is employer-proof while still being part of your community. Read more on this below.

Set your accounts to private

How private are your social media accounts? Many platforms such as Facebook have options on how much or little you can let the public see. Reviewing your privacy regularly will ensure you are informed about what is only available to friends and what employers could be seeing.

Check your Facebook account’s privacy settings and work your way through each one. Under ‘Reviewing’, there is also the ‘View As’ option, which allows you to view your page as if you were an employer.

What to look for when checking your Facebook Privacy settings

Twitter and LinkedIn pages are often public. Keep reading on ways to make these accounts employer-friendly.

Google yourself

Have you ever had a story written about you? Or do you have any forgotten Myspace, Twitter or YouTube accounts? The amount of personal information on the internet can be quite surprising. To know what is showing up when recruiters search your name, try Googling yourself.

It’s always good to search from a third party device as every search will provide different results depending on your location, age, gender identity and other information in your account. Third-party devices include your friend’s computer or even the one at your local library.

Review your images

Profile pictures and cover images are public across all social media channels. Many of us may have photos from 2010 that show up on a search but do not accurately represent who we are today. Take the time to review your past and present images across all your social media channels, keeping recruiters in mind when checking them.

Check photos for:

  • Partying
  • Substance abuse
  • Illegal activity
  • Political statements
  • Profanity
  • Any other unprofessional scenes

Additionally, search for photos your friends have tagged you in that may appear publicly on your profile.

As LinkedIn is used for business, it is advised your profile picture be as professional as possible with headshots or work attire.

Posts, Tweets and Videos

Many people have posted about an issue that they no longer feel the same way about. Unfortunately, these posts can haunt our ability to find jobs today. Have a scan of your publically available posts. When you are searching, look for updates that:

  • Are about political or controversial issues
  • Use offensive language, including swearing and speaking negatively towards groups of people
  • Include complaining about past employers or businesses
  • Describe illegal events
  • Have consistent grammar and spelling errors

When posting in the future on these accounts, keep these points in mind.

Finally, remember your audience for each channel.

LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with other people in your industry, highlight your interests and prove your skills. Presenting this on your LinkedIn will help you connect to future businesses and help you find meaningful employment.

Your local WISE Office is here to help provide more advice on searching and applying for jobs. Learn more about our services or reach out for a chat today!



Stay up to date with the latest WISE Employment news and information.

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Stay up to date with the latest WISE Employment news and information.