Social media has become a vital tool for job seekers over the last number of years. It offers the opportunity to browse and interact with job vacancies and to build up a strong professional online presence. However, for all the positives social media offers it can also be a candidate’s worst enemy when it comes to the application process.
It’s no secret that employers regularly check out the public social media profiles of candidates before even considering them for a call-back or an interview. Just remember, our public social media profiles are only a Google search away.
With this in mind, it is important to cultivate a balanced and professional social presence that will allow the candidate look presentable if a potential employer decides to do some sleuth work. Read below about how to avoid the common social media faux pas that can derail a job application process before it has even begun.
Displaying unprofessional photos
Let’s be honest everybody is entitled to let off a bit of steam at some stage. There’s nothing wrong with going out enjoying oneself and taking few photos as memories to share with friends online.
However, caution must be taken towards where these photos are shared and how visible they are to those outside of your friends list. While your contacts may enjoy seeing amusing pictures of a wild holiday or a night out with friends, a prospective employer may see things completely differently.
It’s pointless trying to paint a presentable and approachable portrait of yourself to the employer if your social platforms are littered with profanities and unprofessional language. This will reflect poorly on your image and is a serious red flag in the eyes of an employer.
An employer will make a huge assessment about a potential candidate by the way they behave online. Therefore, it is advisable to trawl through old posts and clean up where necessary. It may seem time consuming but it could make a big difference in the end.
Criticising previous employers
Unfortunately, not everyone has left their previous place of employment on the best of terms. So much so, that some use their social profiles to vent their anger and frustration about their former boss and colleagues. This is one of the most unprofessional and fatal mistakes that a potential candidate can make.
Broadcasting critical content such as this will reflect very poorly on the candidate and will undoubtedly lead to instant rejection by the employer. If you really have a bee in your bonnet with your previous employer it’s best to keep it to yourself and move on. In the end, some things are best left unsaid.
Keeping a dormant or inactive social presence
Did you know that a lack of social media activity can be just as damaging towards a candidate’s employment prospects as the posting of inappropriate content? This is due to several reasons.
As we are regularly evolving into the digital age, most companies across all industries expect their employees to be tech savvy and up to speed with changing trends. Maintaining a LinkedIn profile at least is mandatory nowadays and it is also the first port of call that a prospective employer will go to.
Failing to display a constant social media presence may show the employer that the candidate has something to hide. Even if you have decided to deactivate all your accounts, there will still be a remaining digital footprint left behind.
This will show evidence of a previous online presence that the most inquisitive employer will eventually find. This in turn will set alarm bells to an employer as to why exactly the candidate has decided to suddenly become invisible.
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