We’ve all heard it before.
“Clean up your social media accounts before you begin applying for a job.”
But the message still isn’t getting through to some, with global recruitment company Hays confirming jobseekers are still “self-sabotaging” with inappropriate social media use.
“Your online activity can have an impact on your chance of securing a job, particularly if it’s offensive or contradicts the professional image or experience you are portraying to hiring managers,” said Managing Director for Hays ANZ Nick Deligiannis.
“We live in a digital age and most employers review a job candidate’s social profiles before inviting them in for an interview. This gives a hiring manager a more detailed insight into a candidate’s skills.”
Engaging in online ‘flame wars’, profanity-filled content and online profiles that do not match a CV are the top red flags for prospective employers.
Badmouthing of a former employer, risqué content, aggressive public threads and general failure to use social media to build a professional personal brand were also all listed as major social media no-nos.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for both jobseekers and recruiters, however Deligiannis warned users to remain vigilant when putting together their profile.
“The most popular platform is LinkedIn because it brings experience to life and tells a story about your career and what you are looking for,” he said. “But jobseekers should also expect that any social profile that comes up in a search will be reviewed.”
Instead of using social media to lower employment chances, Hays suggested jobseekers use their online presence to enhance their opportunities and promote a strong personal brand.
Showcasing important recent projects and achievements, as well as newly-acquired skills, on LinkedIn is one easy way to do this.
Similarly, sharing informative articles and videos can help promote a personal brand.
Hays also suggested following the company social media pages of potential employers was a valuable way to gain insight into company culture.