Once upon a time the only thing a prospective employer knew about you was what you chose to divulge in your CV and covering letter, as well as anything you mentioned during the interview phase.
Have a serious obsession with collecting limited edition Des O'Connor LPs or spend your free time drinking your body weight in alcohol? No one would need know until they've already given you the job.
That was until social media came along and we started to tell the world about all of our weird and wonderful habits and past-times. Although for the most part your social media profiles are harmless fun, if you're in the process of looking for a new job then they could be doing more harm than good. Aim Hire Recruitment - one of Europe's leading IT service management recruiters - explain how social media could be the reason you're not getting a job.
The sorts of pictures you publish to platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will largely depend on what generation you come from, however if you're under 30 there is a good chance that your social media pages are filled with images of raucous nights out and wild parties.
Of course, most employers would understand that a young person goes out drinking at the weekend, but if those pictures show you absolutely inebriated to the point you can barely stand then it is simply not going to put you in a good light. As for pictures of you doing anything that is not entirely within the law, then this would be a major issue should a recruiter Google your name.
If you do begin a job hunt, be sure to audit the pictures you currently have on your social media profiles and remove any that aren't particularly flattering. Alternatively, change the privacy settings to maximum to ensure they cannot be viewed by anyone other than your friends or followers.
Like with pictures, your tweets or status updates can be just as problematic depending on their content. For example if you swear a lot when posting to Facebook or Twitter then this won't show you in a very good light.
Although with Facebook you can set your privacy settings to hide these updates from the public, this is not the case on Twitter, so like with your pictures it would be worth auditing your tweets when you begin a job search to ensure your rant about whichever celebrity has annoyed you that week doesn't put anyone off.
Things Your Friends Post
On social media it is not always what you post that you should be wary of, but also what your friends post to your wall or tweet at you. Although something might not be representative of you, if it is on your wall then you are indirectly responsible for it, so make sure you delete anything that you think could be taken the wrong way or be offensive.
The key principle to bear in mind is that if in doubt, simply turn as much of your social media to private as possible, ensuring that content isn't visible to anyone you don't know. In the case of platforms that don't allow you to do this, such as Twitter, simply delete anything that you think might not give a good impression.
This guest blog was written by John Rooney in partnership with Aim Hire Recruitment - Europe's No. 1 BMC Remedy Resourcing specialists.
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